CP editorial: The Birds should stay

You’re walking down the sidewalk when suddenly a Bird flies past you. 

Bird, the popular motorized scooter brand, has become a hot topic around the University of Missouri.  Some see them as a nuisance, but they actually have several benefits to the MU campus and the city of Columbia, Missouri.

Bird scooters can be picked up anytime, anywhere.  They have an electric motor and travel at 15 to 20 mph. Riders pay to use Bird through the company’s phone app.  When they are done riding or have arrived at their destination, they can leave the scooter on the sidewalk for someone else to use.

One of the best things about Bird is the convenience of transportation.  The scooter makes getting around Columbia much more simple. You can open the Bird app on your phone, scan the code on the scooter, and ride. You are initially charged $1, then Bird adds a 20 cent charge for each minute you ride.  Scooters are great for college campuses like MU because they provide a quick and easy way to get from one side of campus to the other. They are especially useful for students who don’t have a car or park far away from their classes. A student can hop on a scooter and get to class in half the time.

Bird also pays employees to collect the scooters and charge them in their home at night.  Collecting the scooters ensures that they aren’t scattered in inconvenient places or just thrown down on a sidewalk. The longer the scooter needs to be charged, the bigger the payout.  There are also mechanics that make minor repairs to the scooters and proper maintenance when necessary. The jobs created by Bird are a great way to give back to the community and help people earn a little extra money.

The scooters have also caught a lot of flak. People ride them on sidewalks without helmets, often with two people at a time. However, the company should not be held responsible for the riders who decide not to wear a helmet.  There are safety instructions clearly labeled on each scooter. According to Bird’s website, they will even send riders a free helmet if they don’t have one. Some may accuse the scooters of causing crashes on sidewalks, but they aren’t any worse than the bicycles that have always zoomed through MU’s campus at high speeds.  According to an article from the Columbia Missourian, the city of Columbia, Missouri, has heard complaints from citizens about the bird scooters.  The mayor and city have both come up with some rules and demands for Bird scooters if the company wants to stay.  So far Bird has complied and the company has agreed to pay one dollar a day per scooter to account for the sidewalk space that is taken up. 

These rental scooters have flaws, just like many new trends.  However, they have made a strong debut and their popularity is growing. The scooters are a benefit to the community because of their ingenuity, convenience and economic value.

Jacob Peak

About the Author Jacob Peak

Hello, my name is Jacob Peak. I am from a small town of 1,200 people. Wellsville, Missouri, is about an hour drive northeast of Columbia, Missouri, and I live about 10 miles outside of town. One of the biggest things that consumes my family’s free time is hunting. I have hunted duck, geese, quail, pheasant, crow, coyote, rabbit, squirrel and, most importantly, whitetail deer. One of the few things that matters more to me than hunting are my friends and family.