DENVER – Those electric scooters that suddenly appeared all over downtown Denver may be disappearing just as quickly.
On Friday, Denver Public Works issued a release saying that they have given the companies operating the scooters an order to remove them from "the public right of way."
The scooters are part of a new service that launched in Denver last Friday. It’s a system similar to the bike-sharing systems that are common around the city. Riders download an app and pay per minute to ride.
LimeBike, which is one of the companies operating the scooters, told 9NEWS in an e-mail on Friday that over the last week they have seen 7,000 people make more than 16,000 trips using the service.
However, Denver Public Works says in the release that the companies operating the scooters did not get permission to do so.
"We’ve been concerned about the use, placement, and quantity of scooters that have been dropped into our city without permission or a permit to operate," the release states.
They say that leaving the scooters on the sidewalk is a violation of one of Denver’s municipal codes, which states "it is unlawful to utilize any street, alley, sidewalk, parkway or other public place for the storage of goods, wares or merchandise."
Because both companies – LimeBike and Bird – use a dockless system, the scooters are simply left on sidewalks, in yards, in parks or at bus stops when the rider is finished with them.
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Denver Public Works says they have given the companies an order to remove the scooters from any public right of way. According to the release, if the scooters are not removed by the companies, the city will begin removing them.
They will be taken to a city building where the companies can come pick them up, but according to an e-mail to 9NEWS this will come with an administrative citation and possible removal fee.
The release also says that Denver will be working toward developing more specific rules and regulations for similar dockless ride-sharing programs in the future.