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Bird’s contract ‘up in the air’

KINGMAN – Bird Scooters operated in Kingman for more than six months following expiration of its one-year pilot program agreement with the City. The company and the City entered a fee sharing contract that put several dozen scooters on streets for public use in February, 2022.

Acting City Manager Tina Moline confirms that the contract lapsed on Feb. 1 of this year. Yet the scooters were not pulled from the streets of Kingman until Aug. 15 after a media inquiry run through a council member reached former city manager Ron Foggin and staff.

Economic Development Manager Bennett Bratley told the Economic Development Commission on Aug. 22 that the Bird deal expired, but might be renewed when revisited.

“We’re going to be putting together a bunch of information, data on how has the program been working. Is it working for Bird. Is it working for the city?,” Bratley said. “We’re going to put that back before council. We anticipate, hopefully, approval to continue to offer that ride share component.”

The city earned less than $900 through the revenue sharing deal, according to Moline.

So, how is it that the contract lapsed at all, and escaped notice or action for more than six months?

“Unfortunately, the contract’s expiration fell off of the City’s and Bird’s radar,” Moline said.

Council members Keith Walker and Jamie Stehly expressed concern that someone at City Hall should have addressed the Bird contract before it expired.

Bird Rides, Inc. Senior Manager for Government Partnerships Sean Auyash could not be reached for comment. Auyash addressed Council last Aug. just before the pilot program reached month 6.

Auyash indicated then that Bird was interested in extending its operations agreement and doubling to 100 scooters placed in the community. Why neither Bird nor Auyash approached the city for renewal is unknown.

Moline said the matter will come back to Council on Sept. 5, 7 months after contract expiration.

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