Bird Rides, a venture-backed rental app based in Santa Monica, launched its electric scooters throughout Austin in early April.
Austin, being a known leader in forward thinking, is an ideal location for Bird to launch their new, modern mobility solution. This modernized approach of dockless and electric vehicle sharing offers communities an easy, eco-friendly way to get around issues of time constraints and traffic congestion. Talk about an innovative form of transportation!
Users of this ride-sharing service are charged $1 to start the scooter and 15 cents per minute that its used, must be over 18 and must consent to a safety agreement. Bird Rides uses their app to unlock the rental scooters and to provide their users with step-by-step instructions, as well as parking and safety reminders.
Bird Rides, striving to work closely with cities, has a mission to make transportation better, more accessible and more environmentally friendly. The dockless scooter and bike company has already partnered with cities throughout California, as well as with Washington D.C..
Since the Austin launch, controversy has hit the city and Austin officials have already impounded over 50 Bird scooters that were left in violation of city code. The City Council originally planned a pilot program for dockless bike and scooters to begin this summer. However – with Bird Rides and LimeBike launching their ride share services earlier than expected – the city has been thrown into a state of playing catch-up, as they continue to determine if any special laws and regulations apply to the companies.
The current situation of vehicle sharing deems to be similar to the Uber and Lyft controversy experienced in 2016. The city is merely aiming to take precautions in regard to the scooter’ safety concerns and the issue of unused scooters being left in highly-trafficked areas, such as side walks.
In response, Bird has promptly directed its users to comply with each city’s specific parking instructions for the vehicles, and is proactively planning efforts to relieve any other issues that may arise with their services. The company has a stern policy regarding those who violate Bird’s terms of service attain the consequence of being removed from the platform.
If you wish to support this innovative and eco-friendly transportation solution staying in the City of Austin, please click here to sign the petition!