CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston City Councilman Emmett Pepper says residents should once again start seeing the Bird electric scooters make their return to the downtown streets.

On 580 Live with Dave Allen, Pepper said the agreement the city council made with Bird implied that the company would phase out its around 150-scooter fleet in the city for the winter but will make a comeback for the spring.

“My understanding is in most smaller cities especially, but even in big cities, they downsize in the winter, but yeah, it’s pretty much seasonal, I think probably either later this month or in early April once people start mowing their lawns and stuff they will want to ride scooters again, too,” said Pepper.

Emmett Pepper

The motorized scooters officially landed in the Capital City in July 2023 after the council approved an agreement with Bird back in May of last year.

While many council members supported the initiative to bring the scooters to the city, Pepper has been leading the effort, previously saying that they are a “healthier and more environmentally-friendly way to explore the city.”

He said most recently that despite the concerns some had over the implementation of the scooters, their overall response has been satisfactory, and their re-implementation will continue to be beneficial to the area.

“You know, for the people who like it they really like it, they like being able to utilize it, I think it’s going to be important,” he said.

The scooters can be found in what was agreed to be the most convenient and accessible areas of the city to pick up one and ride, and those areas include Charleston’s East End, West Side, and Kanawha City.

Pepper said they have proven to be particularly beneficial during city events as they make it easier for people to get around. He anticipates the scooters will especially come in handy during the biggest upcoming event in May at the USA Cycling championship.

“You had the folks on about the bike thing coming up in May, and when you have a lot of people here, having other options for getting around is helpful,” said Pepper.

It’s not permitted to leave a scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk, or in a way that’s blocking pedestrian traffic.