After taking Bird scooters for a spin, city looks to keep program going

Bird e-scooters could be sticking around in Windsor for another few years. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)
Bird e-scooters could be sticking around in Windsor for another few years. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)

Bird e-scooters will be sticking around in Windsor — and become more widely available — if council approves a new agreement with the company.

City of Windsor administration is recommending that council greenlight a contract with Bird Canada for a three-year term, with options to extend it for up to two years.

Bird has been offering scooters and electric bicycles in the city through a pilot project that began in May 2021.

Last year, council voted to keep it going.

Kyle Bakx/CBC
Kyle Bakx/CBC

Bird Canada was the only company to submit a proposal to run an e-bike and e-scooter rental program, according to the agenda for the upcoming meeting of Windsor city council.

The company offered to provide 375 e-scooters and 75 e-bikes for the program, with a possibility to expand that up to 600 devices.

With approval, the scooters and bikes would be usable within city limits, including in most parks with paved trails.

The item will be addressed at the Feb. 27 city council meeting.

It's currently on the consent agenda — a list of items passed in omnibus fashion without debate — though councillors can vote to remove items from the consent agenda to debate and have a vote on the topic.

Past complaints

While there were businesses that lauded the program and emphasized the need for more active transportation in the city, there were also some complaints about the introduction of the scooters in Windsor.

When the pilot project started in the spring of 2021, people complained that users weren't following all the rules they were supposed to be adhering to.

The scooters are not meant to be ridden on sidewalks, riders must be 18, wear a helmet, can't ride double and should follow local laws.

A spokesperson for Windsor Regional Hospital said that since the pilot began there's been one person treated for a "severe trauma injury" related to falling from an e-scooter.

There were also issues with people not returning the scooters shortly after the project launched.

But there were also businesses that said the pilot project was helping bring more people to them.