Tallahassee requires Bird and Gotcha to remove scooters after geofence issues

Published: Jul. 26, 2019 at 5:49 PM EDT
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

July 26, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Another scooter round-up, as two more companies have continued issues with geofences around college campuses.

Bird and Gotcha have been required to suspend all operations in Tallahassee as of Friday night until the issues are resolved.

Scooters are not allowed on FSU, FAMU or TCC campuses as part of the City of Tallahassee's three month pilot program.

In an e-mail to Gotcha, a senior city planner explains that yesterday when the City tested the geofence, Gotcha scooters were not functioning.

Members of the Gotcha team had to unlock the scooters for the City, after which the City learned that the scooters were going through the geofence, and therefore violating the agreement with the City.

Senior planner Michael Alfano explained that he was also able to end his Gotcha ride inside the geo-fence, which means the scooter can be left on campus; his colleague, who was testing the scooters with him, was not.

In addition, senior planner Alfano notified Bird of geofence issues.

In his e-mail, he wrote that when Bird scooters were tested yesterday, some scooters stopped at the geo-fence, while others continued inside.

He also wrote that his testing team was able to stop and re-accelerate within the geofence.

Both e-mails request that the companies temporarily suspend operations, saying, "As such, we need you to collect all your scooters today/tonight and not redeploy them until you can adequately meet the standards we’ve provided."

Both companies are also warned that if scooters are redeployed before the issue is resolved, they will be kicked out of the pilot program. Bird and Gotcha will need to prove that their scooters slow down and stop in the no-ride zone, and then seek authorization from the City to be re-tested and ultimately re-deploy.

Lime scooters had a similar issue last Friday and voluntarily removed scooters; that company has since re-deployed successfully.