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Bird scooters in Milwaukee are illegal to use says city attorney

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- On Wednesday Bird motorized scooters for rent launched in Milwaukee, especially around downtown.

The city Department of Works sent out a notice Thursday that the city was never given notice of Bird Ride operating in Milwaukee. DPW was asked if the scooters were legal to use on streets and sidewalks and if permits were required.

The City of Milwaukee's Attorney's Office told DPW that the motorized scooters may not be lawfully operated on any public street or sidewalk in Milwaukee.

Anyone who uses a motorized scooter on the street or sidewalk is subject to a $98.90 ticket for operating an unregistered motor vehicle. 

Although the city has not physically removed the Bird scooters from streets and sidewalks anyone who uses one could be fined.

Alderman Robert Bauman, who represents downtown Milwaukee says, "It’s irresponsible for this company to come into Milwaukee and place the unsuspecting public in legal jeopardy. Quite simply these vehicles are not authorized for use on sidewalks or city streets and for good reason.”

The Alderman said Bird has been made aware that the scooters are illegal but has chosen to proceed.

A spokesperson for Bird has released the following statement,

"Bird scooters are helping cities meet their ambitious goals of reducing carbon emissions and addressing the ever present car traffic crisis. We respectfully disagree with the city’s contention that operation of any electric scooter in the state of Wisconsin is unlawful. We look forward to working with the city to create and enforce common sense rules encouraging the safe use of our sustainable transportation option that the people of Milwaukee have begun to adopt enthusiastically."


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