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Bird scooters in Cambridge and Somerville now an endangered species

Cities want app-accessed e-vehicles out until company obtains proper permit

E-scooters in a row. Photo courtesy of Bird

Cambridge and Somerville have asked electric-scooter concern Bird to remove its vehicles from each city pending the proper permitting—which might not come until the fall at the earliest.

Recall that the company spilled several of its scooters onto the streets and sidewalks of Cambridge and Somerville in July. The introduction is part of a wave of new dockless transit options around the Boston region.

But it turns out that Bird does not have the proper permit to operate in Cambridge—or at least that is how officials see it, per the Globe’s Steve Annear. They told the company on July 30 that it had to vacate the city limits post-haste and to please stop offering access to scooters in Cambridge via the Bird app.

The city is prepared to seize the scooters if Bird doesn’t fly willingly. As for the proper permit, that has to come via the Cambridge City Council, which does not meet again until September 17.

In Somerville, officials said they are also prepared to confiscate any errant Birds. In the meantime, the city says it is working toward a regulatory framework that would cover such e-scooters—though, like with the Cambridge City Council decision, that could take months.

It’s almost like there needs to be some sort of regional cooperation and quick, given the region’s dense geography and the prevalence of such sharing companies. Stay tuned.