E-scooters and e-bikes vanish from these Johnson County cities. Could they come back?

It’s been a few months since residents have zipped down Overland Park’s streets on electric scooters for rent.

The company that provided the vehicles — Bird — began pulling them in August.

But as far as the city of Overland Park can tell, people enjoyed the 75 scooters (and a few dozen e-bikes), says spokeswoman Meg Ralph.

That’s why the city is considering somehow bringing them back. Overland Park’s Public Works Committee will discuss next steps at its meeting on Nov. 20.

“We saw them being used quite a bit and had some positive comments on it,” Ralph said. “There was not necessarily an issue outside of, they just need to be there so people can use them.”

The Florida-based scooter company entered into an agreement with Overland Park in February 2022 and deployed its scooters that March, Ralph said, mostly around downtown. The e-bikes arrived that July.

Riders must download the Bird app and pay a $1 fee plus more for each minute they ride.

At one time, Bird scooters were also available in Kansas City, Prairie Village and Olathe.

The bike and scooter relationship was mostly “symbiotic,” Ralph said, though Overland Park picked up a fee of 25 cents per ride and an annual $500 fee, for a total of $6,500.

“We had seen that was working really wonderfully for a while,” Ralph said. “Then it was like, the scooters were not in the places they should be. We didn’t see as many of them.”

The first week of August this year, Bird told Overland Park it was having “staffing issues” and began packing up the scooters and bikes.

Bird could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.

Jimmy Mack, a spokesman for the city of Olathe, said Bird alerted officials that it would not be continuing its program with the city, but the reason wasn’t clear. The scooters were removed relatively recently, Mack said.

While Overland Park is looking into ways to bring back the vehicles, Olathe isn’t.

“If we hear from residents that it’s important to them, there’s always a possibility in the future that we may engage in further discussions,” Mack said.

Ralph said Overland Park has been communicating with other electric scooter companies.

Lenexa, Kansas City and North Kansas City all use RideKC Bike’s electric bicycles. RideKC Bike began offering scooters in 2018.