Dockless scooters show up in New England without warning

Shared electric scooters are parked on a street in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018. - Cities across the U.S. are grappling with the growing trend of electric scooters which users can unlock with a smartphone app. Scooter startups including Bird and Lime allow riders to park them anywhere that doesn't block pedestrian walkways but residents in some cities, including Los Angeles, say they often litter sidewalks and can pose a danger to pedestrians. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

Shared electric scooters are parked on a street in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018. - Cities across the U.S. are grappling with the growing trend of electric scooters which users can unlock with a smartphone app. Scooter startups including Bird and Lime allow riders to park them anywhere that doesn't block pedestrian walkways but residents in some cities, including Los Angeles, say they often litter sidewalks and can pose a danger to pedestrians. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Three New England cities are figuring out how to respond after a California company left dozens of electric rental scooters on public sidewalks without warning.

The scooters appeared Friday morning in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Massachusetts cities of Cambridge and Somerville.

The company that operates the scooters, Los Angeles-based Bird Rides, Inc., didn't respond to requests for comment Friday.

It's one of several companies competing to expand services for "dockless" scooters or bicycles that can be rented using a smartphone app and left almost anywhere. Some cities have sought to regulate them over safety and nuisance concerns.

A spokesman for Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says officials found out about the scooters when they appeared outside City Hall before dawn Friday.

The city is now in talks with the company.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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