Bird electric scooters were dropped off in Norfolk. They’ve been impounded by the city

"Bird," an electric scooter company, dropped off dozens of electric scooters throughout the city, without telling anyone. Some showed up in Virginia Beach, too

Bird electric scooters were also near the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. (Rami Yoakum/Southside Daily)
Bird electric scooters were also near the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. (Rami Yoakum/Southside Daily)

NORFOLK — Residents here may have woken up to find small groups of black electric scooters arranged on sidewalks and parking lots.

The scooters, said Lori Crouch, the city’s spokeswoman, were dropped off by Bird.

Crouch said “Bird did not communicate, coordinate or provide any notice before dropping scooters in Norfolk.”

The scooters were also spotted in Virginia Beach near the Oceanfront, and some at the Convention Center.

Virginia Beach city officials did not immediately respond to a request for comments.

People can become Bird “chargers” by filling out a form online.

A charge is someone who is paid to help introduce scooters into a city and keep them maintained.

On Tuesday, a man named Justin Schwimmer posted in a closed Facebook group for the Ghent section of Norfolk that he was charging the scooters and would be releasing them in the city Wednesday.

Schwimmer declined to respond to requests for comment.

Related story: Norfolk to launch bike share program in April

According to its website, Bird is a ride share company you can locate and pay for scooters through a mobile app, similar to Norfolk’s Pace bike program. Its website does not currently list Norfolk as one of its markets.

Bird electric scooters were also near the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. (Rami Yoakum/Southside Daily)
Bird electric scooters were also near the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. (Rami Yoakum/Southside Daily)

Crouch said city staff and and police are “collecting the scooters and placing them in safe storage at our Towing and Recovery facility” until Bird comes to collect them.

“About 70” scooters showed up in ODU, Ghent and Downtown today, Crouch said.

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