PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Reports of e-scooters being tossed into the Willamette River became real Tuesday when the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River and Dive Team and spotted about 20.
The divers were clearing the sea wall near the Hawthorne Bridge when they saw the e-scooters. By 12:45 p.m., they had recovered 9 e-scooters and were working to get more.
In a statement to KOIN 6 News about the e-scooters pulled from the river, a Bird spokesperson said:
“WhenBird vehicles are vandalized or thrown into rivers or lakes, it’s like breaking windows in your own neighborhood. Vandalism of any kind should not be accepted, full stop. At
Bird, we have zero tolerance for vandalism and aggressively address it when it occurs in communities where we are meeting the needs for sustainable transportation options. We encourage everyone in these communities — whether they ride Bird or not — to report
vandalism done to or with our vehicles as we are committed to acting swiftly and effectively. If you see something, report it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Earlier scooter tossing
In November 2018, KOIN 6 News reported the Instagram account “PDX Scooter Mess” documented scooter destruction; its companion site, “Scooters in the River PDX” claimed 17 e-scooters were thrown into the Willamette River.
A KOIN 6 News employee with access to Bird’s charging app at that same time showed more than 8 scooters in need of a charge alongside the Willamette riverfront. Any person approved by Bird to charge the scooters could be paid $20 to pick up and plug in these scooters – but some hadn’t been ridden, located, or charged in weeks, and one hasn’t been found since September 2018.
In September, KOIN 6 News reported the scooter companies have been tight-lipped about whether vandalism has become an issue in Portland.
As for the question of how many scooters have been thrown into the river, there is still no clear answer.
But Lime does seem to have figured out a solution for fishing them out of the Willamette.
In an email to PBOT, Lime representative Brown said the company has “had success with using a grappling hook in the past, if necessary.”