Bird Scooters Still Trying To Improve Poor Service In Wenatchee
Bird Scooters is still trying to recover from substandard service in its second year serving Wenatchee.
Bird gave a progress update to the city council Thursday, saying a new local fleet manager is repairing broken scooters to bring availability back up to the 60-80 vehicles that were in use last summer season.
The company admits to having diminished vehicle quality this year as well as uncharged scooters, and to having issues with underage ridership.
Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz said the company is likely getting its final chance to improve service.
"I don't mean to say this in a negative way, but I'm just going to be honest with you," said Kuntz. "If this doesn't get rolled out in a way that's meaningful to the community, I have a hard time thinking that next year is going to be renewed."
Bird Government Partnerships Account Executive Julianne Roller took the place of Bird northwest account manager Max Pecina in representing the company before the city council.
Roller offered few specifics Thursday to inquiries from city councilors who asked about how many scooters would be returned to service and by what date would the goal be accomplished.
She said the hope was to have 60-80 scooters up and running in the next two weeks from the recent level of fewer than two dozen working vehicles.
Roller also responded to council member Keith Huffaker's concern about continued underage usage of scooters by saying the company would look into curbing the problem.
The company requires riders to sign agreements stating they're at least 18-years-old and Roller said educational materials are their major resource to deal with the issue at this time.
Anthony Williams assumed the role of Bird's new local fleet manager in July, replacing the previous manager who the company had parted ways with. Williams was one of two managers in the successful rollout of Bird scooters last summer in Wenatchee.
Mayor Kuntz said the company must move fast to improve service in the time left during the current summer season.. "Whatever these next couple of months look like until we get to winter time, you guys better knock it out of the park,' Kuntz said.