Two months ago, local officials demanded that Bird to pull 250 scooters from the streets of Santa Monica because the company had generated more complaints and issues than its competitors.

But last Thursday, officials reversed the decision and allowed Bird to redeploy the 250 devices, saying the company’s performance has improved.

Bird’s 750-scooter fleet brings the total number of dockless scooters and bikes in the city to 3,250. The company launched in Santa Monica in September 2017, making the city the first in the world to adopt dockless scooters.

A Bird spokesperson said the company has worked closely with city officials to ensure compliance with the shared mobility pilot program, which requires the four companies authorized to operate in Santa Monica to respond to operational problems and share ridership data with the city.

“Residents of our hometown of Santa Monica rely on Bird as a way to commute, to run errands, and to more easily get around town without having to get in a car,” the spokesperson said. “We are thrilled about this news because it means residents will have greater access to a popular alternative to car travel.”

Bird was allowed to deploy 750 scooters at the start of the pilot program last September. Lime was also allowed to launch 750. Lyft and Jump, which is owned by Uber, started with 500 bikes and 250 scooters each.

Officials said they would allow companies to enlarge their fleets if their daily ridership averaged more than four riders per scooter or three riders per bike.

Earlier this year, the city granted Lyft an additional 500 scooters and Jump 250 more bikes. Lyft did not deploy the 500 bikes it planned to at the start of the pilot program, so its overall fleet size did not change from what the city originally permitted.

The city asked Bird in July to pull 250 scooters because officials observed Bird improperly deploying and maintaining its devices. Officials also said Bird has received more community complaints than the other operators and the ridership data the company provided to the city contained consistent anomalies.

But Bird deployed about 640 devices per day in Santa Monica throughout the month of August anyway, officials said. Each device received an average of 5.6 rides per day.

In a memo dated Sept. 12, planning director David Martin said Bird asked the city to increase its fleet to 900 scooters. Martin said the city decided to partially fulfill Bird’s request because of its high daily ridership and improved compliance with the pilot program, but taking into account that the company deployed about 140 scooters more than permitted.

“This adjustment to Bird’s device allocation is intended to improve service and responsiveness and meet the growing demand for shared mobility devices,” Martin wrote in the memo.

The city will closely monitor and enforce Bird’s adherence to the 750 scooter cap, Martin said. Officials will also monitor and consider adjustments to the overall pilot program fleet size caps this fall and winter if ridership slows due to seasonality, as it has in the past.

madeleine@smdp.com