Lobby up: Scooter skirmish hits Sunshine State
The ongoing regulatory battle surrounding bike sharing just ratcheted up a notch.
New lobbying registrations show Bird Scooters, the first electric scooter sharing company in the world, inked a deal with mega-lobbying firm Ballard Partners while competing dockless bike company Lime has retained Capital City Consulting.
The industry has hit a number of roadblocks over its short history: Questions over right-of-way, where the scooters are allowed and how cities can deal with the massive growth of the industry have dominated the discussion over a year-and-a-half since the battery-powered bikes started showing up in cities nationwide.
The business practices for bike sharing companies isn’t too far off from those of ride-sharing companies such as Uber – a major investor in the rapidly growing industry. Due to the lack of regulations, scooter companies enter new markets with little warning, taking communities and consumers by surprise. That has led to the perceived drawbacks of such businesses being magnified.
Scooter sharing companies have been welcomed by some communities, which see them as a great way to alleviate traffic congestion, however, other markets have soundly rejected the bikes. Last week, the city of Norfolk, Va., impounded 560 of Bird’s scooters and