ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — As some area municipalities are ending their relationships with electric scooter company Bird Global, Rockford is keeping the unique ride-share service going.
In fact, the scooters are still a hit with Rockfordians since they landed in the Forest City last year.
“Bird has indicated to the city that they are happy with the ridership and the city is overall pleased,” said Karl Franzen, the City of Rockford’s director of community and economic development.
Franzen hasn’t pulled together this year’s ridership numbers yet but says he expects them to be as favorable, if not better than what he saw in 2021.
Between June 1 and Aug. 31 of last year, 4,764 people road Bird scooters in Rockford a total of 13,361 times, Franzen said.
Meanwhile, aldermen voted earlier this year to terminate Freeport’s agreement with Bird after receiving multiple complaints about reckless riders and scooters left in roads, yards, and on sidewalks.
There have been similar complaints in Rockford but none that have officials alarmed enough to nix the service.
“There have been (a) minimal, seriously minimal, number of complaints related to illegal parking, etcetera, that Bird’s contractors have quickly addressed,” Franzen said.
Bird scooters have also been pulled from Beloit after a contractor responsible for maintaining the fleet terminated the ride-share agreement, claiming the company was difficult to work with.
Bird scooters have been available in Machesney Park since Aug. 15. The Florida-based company operates in more than 400 cities.