New Bird scooters roll into Vienna



Trish Truong, Opinion Editor

The Town of Vienna announced the introduction of Bird E-scooters to the community on Sept. 8. People can now rent Bird scooters for a base price of $1 and a per-minute charge of 15 cents. According to the town’s news release, the scooters are a part of a shared mobility devices (SMD) one-year pilot program, which was approved by the Vienna Town Council in Dec. 2019. The announcement received some backlash from community members.

“Maybe an unpopular opinion, but this is an absolutely terrible idea,” Julia Brannigan said in a public Facebook comment. “The worst. Give it a couple weeks and scooters will be piled up blocking sidewalks, in people’s yards, and making traffic on the roads and trail more dangerous.”

To rent a scooter, people need to download the Bird app, find an available scooter and scan the QR code or manually enter the code located on the scooter. After the ride is over, riders can find approved parking areas and then click the “End Ride” button in the app. Lastly, customers will need to take a photo of the parked scooter to ensure correct parking. The speed of the scooters will be regulated, meaning the speed limit could be as low as 8 miles per hour or up to 15 miles per hour in certain areas.

Many people have expressed doubts and concerns over the implementation of scooters. Comments under the Town of Vienna, VA – Government’s Facebook post announcing the scooters expressed worry about the potential impacts on the community.

“The W&OD is dangerous enough with cyclists and pedestrians trying to share space and now we’re adding Birds?” Kelli Naughton said in a public Facebook comment. “Ugh. No thank you.”

Other people view the scooters as a positive change, citing another form of transportation for Madison students and community members alike.

“The Town of Vienna holds boundless opportunities, and the scooters help you get to them,” Mikey Tomasovic (‘23) said.