But Birds haven’t been trouble free. The company has not yet gotten approval from the city to place its scooters in public areas like sidewalks around downtown. Cities like Denver and San Francisco have banned Bird, with critics saying that people often just leave the scooters wherever. There’s even a hashtag: #ScootersBehavingBadly.
Ruhlman said he hopes the city doesn’t immediately try to ban Bird after its launch locally.
“Do I do this once and the city is like, ‘Nope, you’re done’? I’ve got six of them to charge, so that’s $30.”
City spokesman Chris Hernandez sent this statement to The Star about Bird:
“The city supports innovation and transportation options, and we are having conversations with Bird to learn more about their plans for the Kansas City market. Since this is a transportation option that uses the public right of way and city infrastructure, we want to make sure we have a full understanding of how it works, which will help us determine how it fits into existing laws, and what revisions might be considered.”
Bird is known for taking a “beg forgiveness rather than ask permission” attitude in cities across the country, similar to Uber and other ride sharing companies when they first started.
“That’s the Silicon Valley way,” Ruhlman said.