Providence regulates scooters that showed up without warning

A young man is pictured riding a Bird Scooter on Pearl Street in Somerville.
A young man is pictured riding a Bird Scooter on Pearl Street in Somerville. –Jim Davis/Globe Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The city of Providence has decided to allow electric rental scooters on a trial basis, after a California company left the scooters on public sidewalks without warning.

Providence released an electric scooter policy Friday. A one-year pilot program begins next week.

The dockless scooters appeared in July in Providence and in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. Los Angeles-based Bird Rides, Inc. operates them.

Providence told the company it has to apply for the program and the scooters will be allowed to operate while Bird works to comply with the new rules.

Companies will have to pay Providence $1 a day for each permitted scooter, up to 300 scooters, and remove them at night.

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The policy also has stipulations about insurance and data-sharing.

Bird says it has been working with Providence officials and it will seek a permit.