Bird is the word


Mallorey Daunhauer

New motorized “Bird” scooters parked across the sidewalk on Kirkwood avenue.

Tommy McEvilly, Staff Writer

Going for a stroll in Bryan Park? There they are. Heading to the library to study? There they are. Sitting in your fourth period and looking through the window? Yes, there they are. Over the past few months, a new craze has hit the town of Bloomington, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon.

Bird and Lime are two “reliable last mile electric scooter” companies, and it seems as though just about every college student is jumping on the bandwagon. While Bird and Lime are separate companies, both set of scooters arrived in Bloomington around the same time and  have similar goals in the community. While they may resemble a childhood toy that you would ride around the neighborhood, these new electric scooters reach up to 15 mph and come with a small fee.

After downloading the Bird or Lime app, users must unlock the scooter and pay a $1 flat fee plus 15 cents per mile that the user travels. Neither company has a home base or rack for the scooters to eventually return to, as they remain where left until used by another person. In a college town like Bloomington where over 48,000 students are left to either take the city bus or walk to class, the arrival of alternate transportation methods like Bird and Lime scooters is convenient and beneficial.

While many people benefit from the addition of the scooters, safety has become a substantial issue around town. Mayor John Hamilton tweeted at the arrival of Lime scooters,“Be safe: use a helmet. Not on sidewalk. 18 and over. And don’t park them in a right of way. Mobility options are good. Let’s enjoy these new ones.”. The city is embracing all the positives that these companies are able to provide, but the scooters have already created their fair share of issues.

On Oct. 20, the first electric scooter accident occurred, nearly a month after the initial arrival. An unnamed male student at Indiana University was riding a scooter and fell off, sustaining a severe head injury. The student stopped breathing and received CPR from bystanders until responders arrived and transported him to IU Health Bloomington Hospital. Aside from this accident, several Bloomington residents are frustrated with the improper treatment of the Birds and Limes.

“I think that they have the potential to be useful, but they have to be handled in the right way. I feel like a lot of people are making it very dangerous for themselves and for others,” senior Noah Moore said.

With many college students being in a hurry to get to class, work or restaurants, many students run the risk of injury by not following traffic laws or city laws for the scooters. Over 200 scooters from both  companies have been impounded after being illegally parked in a variety of places around town.

“The scooters help people get around to classes or go grocery shopping. They’re a good alternative for people that don’t have cars to drive around town in.” senior Yash Patel said.