There has been a recent dispute between the startups Bird and Lime against a San Diego company which they allege have been taking abandoned scooters from the streets and giving them back to the startups in exchange for money.
Scooter Removal says that they are doing this for a noble cause both for the environment and the city which they say have been littered with a lot of scooters.
The dispute highlights a larger tension in tech, in that it lays bare some pretty fundamental questions about Silicon Valley, i.e. are so-called mobility companies actually helping us solve some of our larger transportation issues? Or is really what we have at the end of the day just a bunch of new trash?
But Bird and Lime retaliated by saying that Scooter Removal's motivations aren't purely altruistic.
Both scooter-rental startups sued the company—known as Scooter Removal—and its founders last month, arguing that the company’s removal of scooters was in many cases illegal.
Workers from the company, Bird and Lime say, “lay in wait” for tourists and other scooter riders to get off the scooters in San Diego, before “swooping in” and loading them onto a truck, taking them to storage and holding them for “ransom.”
(Image credit: Grendelkhan/Wikimedia Commons)