Free Minds & Free Markets

Brickbat: Taken for a Ride

Bird scooterSonnenbergshots / Dreamstime.comAfter the Raleigh, North Carolina, city council imposed a $300-per-scooter fee and other limitations on electric scooters, Bird scooters added a $2 transportation fee to use its scooters, in addition to the $1 to unlock the scooters and 15 cents a minute to ride it already charged. Company officials say they need the new fee to offset the higher costs imposed on them by the city. But Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the price increase "profit-making decision and has nothing to do with our requirements" and insisted that the new fee is not a tax.

Photo Credit: Sonnenbergshots /

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  • Adans smith||

    It's a FEE !!?? Well,that changes everything.

  • Rat on a train||

    Is fee too harsh a word? We'll just call it a donation. Doesn't that make you feel better?

  • Adans smith||

    Maybe a gratuity?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Shame if something happens to your scooters. So... pay up scooter man!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "They say their average ride is five rides per day," the mayor explained. "So if you divide that out to 500 scooters that comes out to 16 cents per ride. So how are the [sic] justifying adding $2 per ride? Not to mention they are misleading everyone by calling it a transportation tax."

    Don't the scooter companies understand the mayor is operating on very thin margins and doesn't need this PR hit?

    The mayor, by the stupid way, is failing to factor in that the city has artificially and arbitrarily capped the number of scooters that can operate, which likely adds to overhead-per-scooter. And, yes, why does she think consumers give a fuck whether they're being charged a fee or a tax?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    We're seeing more government stooges claiming that monies collected are not taxes, which I find interesting. One could hope it indicated an increasing tendency for the citizenry to tell government to stick new proposed taxes up its jumper.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think it is because more taxes are pissing people off to say something.

    So, as you point out politicians are trying to hide the taxes with other terms.

  • A Lady of Reason||

    Trying to get a few dollars off scooters to solve their issues? Why not manage their money better? Oh yeah, they couldn't care less about what's right...Only what they can get away with...

  • A Lady of Spam||

    Amen sister, I totally agree with you !!! Finally someone has the balls to say what I'm sure we ALL were thinking !!

  • Longtobefree||

    Money taken by a government is a tax.
    Lies told by a politician are still lies.
    Water is wet.

  • Conchfritters||

    Nancy McFarlane is a fucking idiot. Now, if the city would only build a $5 billion trolley like real progressive cities...

  • netizen||

    Sure this nickel & diming is bullshit from the kind of people that would ticket my kid for running a lemonade stand, but what's the libertarian take on a business leaving their product all over the sidewalks? Would I violate the NAP by helpfully relocating them to the nearest dumpster?
    Or maybe lake. Just moving abandoned junk from one place it shouldn't be, to another.


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