Uber, Lyft — check. Motorcycles, electric bicycles, and mopeds? Not so much. Now Bird steps in to help you access an Uber-like electric scooter (e-scooter) service, and so far the reception has been great.
An Uber-Like E-Scooter Service Coming Near You
This one is a great idea and a head-scratcher. It’s not going to get a mass general appeal and we can certainly bet a lot of financial companies won’t get it either, but the idea of an e-scooter ride-hailing service deserves a closer inspection.
Bird is a company that offers e-scooter shared rides starting at $1 to 15 cents per minute traveled. So far the company has a trial run in the city of Los Angeles and is now raising $100 million of its $300 million for its valuation, according to TechCrunch. But Bird was founded by the highly public ex-Uber and Lyft executive Travis VanderZanden. He has been sued by Lyft, hired by Uber, and now the company is expanding.
So far, Bird has 1,000 of its e-scooters out to 50,000 people for 250,000 rides in the city of Santa Monica. But the real problem here is that the Santa Monica Police Department sees this new trend as a threat. It issued 281 traffic stops and 97 tickets this year alone. Los Angeles’ fire department has already responded to 8 Bird e-scooter accidents. Perhaps cities can look into drone laws and see what could help as we move forward.
Can The Shared Ride Bird E-Scooter Be Part Of The E-Mobility Ecosystem?
At the heart of the Bird e-scooter expansion is the trick of how to get it to incorporate into the newly forming electric mobility (e-mobility) landscape of our future cities. Fleet owners are a perfect target for the Bird e-scooter and it would find an ideal place in schools, particularly Universities but also city fleets, as well as private ones.
The potential of last-mile mobility solutions like the Bird e-scooters cannot be underestimated. We see a great future for so many parts of the e-mobility puzzle that the Bird e-scooter has its place there and hopefully invites even more competition.
As our urban needs continue to evolve and demand cleaner, easier, and more efficient ways of moving about, the world of e-mobility invites a lot of players to fill in the blanks.
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