PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – At least seven scooters meant to be on the streets of Providence ended up in the Providence River on Tuesday, and the company that owns the scooters said it was removing them.
A spokesperson for Lime said the company’s operations team had removed five of seven scooters as of Tuesday evening, and was working on getting the other two out of the river.
It’s unclear who dumped the scooters in the river, but Providence is not the first city whose scooters have been submerged. News outlets from around the country have reported electric scooters found in rivers, lakes and the ocean in cities such as Los Angeles, Portland and Austin.
Multiple social media accounts and hashtags like #birdgraveyard apparently serve to document, and sometimes celebrate, the destruction or vandalism of the scooters.
Providence has had up to 300 scooters on its streets since 2018, after the city issued a policy for the electric, dockless scooters that required the companies to pay $1 per scooter, per day to the city. The companies, Lime and Bird, also have to remove the electric scooters from the streets from sunset to sunrise.
Asked about the scooters in the river Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Management said a formal complaint had not been filed. But Mike Healey said: “As the owner of the scooters, the scooter company is responsible for removing the scooters from the Providence River.”
A city spokesperson said the if the city received a complaint, it would remove the scooters and bill the company for the cost.
Lime, one of two companies that has electric scooters in Providence, said it was already working on removing the scooters.
The Lime spokesperson also said in a statement: “Vandalizing property is wrong and only harms those who rely on these vehicles everyday as an affordable, convenient way to get around. If anyone sees a Lime scooter that they suspect is being tampered with or vandalized, we ask that they please immediately report it to our 24/7 customer service team, available through the app, email (email@example.com), and phone or text (1-888-LIME-345).”
The spokesperson did not immediately respond to a question about whether the waterlogged scooters will still function.