SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A company on a crusade to rid the city of unwanted scooters says it’s now facing pushback from the scooter companies.
Based in San Diego, Scooter Removal LLC offers free scooter removal on private properties.
One of the founders, Dan Borelli, says they have a license to operate in the city and are doing everything legally.
When an owner or landlord wants to hire Scooter Removal, also known as Scoot Scoop, they must first fill out a tow authorization form. Scoot Scoop then gives companies like Bird, Lime, and Uber a grace period to pick up the scooters before their company does. Once impounded companies can pay to get their equipment back, a $30 flat fee plus $10 flat fee for storage.
The service is completely free for customers and Borelli says they've been inundated with calls, recently signing up 30 new private properties.
But Borelli says some of the companies are pushing back, refusing to pick up their scooters. He says some are threatening legal action and he believes they want to drive him out of business.
“We call those bully emails, bully calls, they've threatened us criminally, they've threatened us civilly, but as of to date we are operating completely by the law," said Borelli.
They've now created a GoFundMe to keep the business afloat.
“The GoFundMe was set up primarily to help us survive, help us to keep doing this for the community for free. This is a free service, I'm not charging the people I'm picking the scooters up from, I want the companies to pay their bills," said Borelli.
He says they keep a detailed record of scooters collected and have so far impounded thousands.
Borelli says money raised will help them pay employees, pay for gas, and for a larger storage facility.
Bird has not responded to multiple 10News Inquiries.
Lime sent the following statement:
Whether it’s a bike or scooter, micromobility has long been part of San Diego’s commitment to reducing traffic and clean air. The community should be careful when engaging with pop-up companies claiming to provide city services like impounding or towing. Impounding bikes or scooters requires compliance with the law, and Lime is in the process of reviewing whether these pop-ups are committing violations which may subject them to liability. Interfering with consumer access to transportation services or disrupting a ride in progress impacts all San Diegans. For help with a Lime scooter or bike in San Diego, the safest and most efficient option is to contact Lime directly. Lime can be reached by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Borelli says some companies, like Uber and Wheels, are cooperating and picking up impounded scooters.
He's working to develop a community program to help neighborhoods co-exist with scooters and hopes all scooter companies will participate.