Last updated on July 17th, 2018 at 10:17 pm
Your Thorough Guide to Bird Scooter Rentals
The bikeshare industry is evolving, and electric scooters are an obvious next step in that evolution. There are a few different scooter rental companies that have entered the market in recent months, and one of the most successful is Bird. The company offers opportunities for riders as well as individuals who want to boost their income. Take a closer look at the company, what they offer, and how you can be a part of it, below.
Everything You Need to Know About Bird Scooter Rentals
Bird scooters have grown quickly in popularity, but electric scooter rentals are a very new service. As a result, most people don’t know much about Bird or how their rental services work. Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a Bird scooter rider:
What Are Bird Scooters?
Founded in 2017, Bird specializes in electronic scooter rentals only. Through Bird’s app, riders can locate available scooters in their area and rent them for easy traveling. The equipment is dockless, so you’re able to ride right up to where you’re going and leave the scooter at your destination, instead of finding a charger dock.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Bird Scooter?
Bird offers a very straightforward pricing arrangement. There’s an initial $1 fee for each electric scooter rental, and then you’ll pay 15 cents for every minute you use the scooter. Considering the speed and convenience of Bird’s scooter rentals, the combination of base fare and per minute fee results in a highly affordable mode of transportation for short trips.
What Are the Benefits of Bird Scooters?
Electric scooters are a fantastic way to get through your city. Choosing to travel by Bird electric scooter offers many benefits, including:
- Convenience: The Bird scooter app makes it incredibly easy to find scooters near you, and the unlocking process is quick and painless.
- Speed: Bird scooters are designed to reach speeds of up to 15 mph, which means you can get where you’re going quickly.
- Affordability: Bird scooter rentals are also inexpensive. Considering their speed and availability, riders are able to reach the destinations quickly, which keeps their overall costs low.
- Eco-Friendliness: The scooter rentals are also an eco-friendly transportation option. They run on electricity, which is associated with lower carbon emissions than gas or diesel. The equipment is also designed to operate efficiently, so no energy is wasted.
With so many benefits, foot transportation could become a thing of your past.
Where Are Bird Electric Scooters Available?
The electric scooter rental scene is fairly new, so it’s no surprise that Bird is only available in a few locations. However, the success of their current operation areas is leading the company to expand rapidly. As of today, Bird electric scooters are available in the following cities:
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Jose
- Los Angeles
- Salt Lake City
- Washington D.C.
As you can see, the majority of their operational centers are in large metropolitan areas. In the near future, you can expect to find Bird in major cities all over the country. Smaller cities and college towns are likely to be in the second round of expansions after Bird enters each state.
How to Rent a Bird Electric Scooter
Renting a Bird scooter is fairly easy. First, you need to download the Bird app, which is available on the iTunes store and Google Play. After you open the app, it’ll prompt you to create an account. You’ll also need to enter your payment information before accessing the service. You’ll find this option at the top of the main menu. To get started with a free ride on Bird (up to $5), click the button below.
On the main page of the app, you’ll see a map that indicates your position in relation to nearby scooters, or “Birds,” as the company calls them. You’ll also be able to view the current battery level of each scooter before you choose one.
After you’ve located a scooter nearby, you tap the symbol on the screen to choose it. Then you’ll focus your phone camera on the QR code, which is located on the handlebar, to verify the scooter, before hitting “Unlock.” The first time you utilize a Bird scooter rental, the app will also require you to take a picture of your driver’s license.
Once your scooter is rented, it’s time to ride. On the left side of the handlebar, you’ll see the brake handle, and on the right side, a throttle button. To start the system, you’ll use foot power. Three strong pushes will wake up the scooter, and then the rest of the power is provided by the throttle button. Be sure to only operate the scooter in bike lanes and not on sidewalks.
After completing your journey, tap the “Lock” button in the Bird app. You can park the scooter with the kickstand and leave it near the entrance of your destination. It’s best to avoid blocking walkways and sidewalks, so look for a safe location that’s easy to access for other riders.
Everything You Need to Know About Being a Bird Charger
Since Bird’s electric scooters are dockless, they need to be charged regularly. To aid in this effort, the company employs contractors known as “chargers.” Chargers operate as independent contractors and are responsible for Bird scooter charging on a daily basis.
What Bird Chargers Do
Bird chargers utilize the app to locate scooters in their area, and then they collect them for charging. There isn’t a central docking station, so each charger takes the machines home with them to charge overnight. The scooters require a special charger that connects to a standard outlet, but the company will provide these to you once you join their team.
The company sorts scooters throughout a city by creating a “nest,” which is a specific location with expected high demand. After the equipment is charged, the chargers “release” the Birds anywhere in their nest area.
How Much Do Bird Chargers Make?
Bird pays their chargers based on the number of scooters they charge. Each scooter is categorized as either green, yellow, or red, and their charging price varies by category and location. On average, you can expect to make around $5 per fully charged Bird scooter. Once you locate a machine on your app, it’ll tell you how much you’ll make for charging the scooter.
One of the top benefits of working for Bird is their same-day payouts. You’ll be paid the same day for all charged scooters that were freed back to their nest by 7 a.m. After 7 a.m., releases are paid the following business day. Such a quick turnaround only adds to the appeal of the company. Bird does limit each charger to 20 scooters per night.
Bird Charger Requirements
To become a Bird charger, the company requires you to apply. The process isn’t as complicated or thorough as rideshare or delivery companies, but you do need to meet some basic requirements. All Bird chargers must meet the following criteria:
- Minimum age of 18 years old
- You need to have a vehicle
- Live in or near an operation center
- Charge a minimum of three Birds at a time
Since the company pays out on a daily basis, they require that each charger tackle three machines at once. This choice reduces the company’s overall costs as banks charge them for each transaction.
How to Become a Bird Charger
To apply for this Bird scooter job, you need to visit their charger sign up page. You can also access it through their app through the main menu under “Become a Charger.” Next, you’ll enter your personal and tax information along with your direct deposit information.
After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a call from the Bird team for a short interview. At this time, they’ll explain the process involved in more detail.
Upon approval, you’ll gain access to charger features in your Bird app. This step allows you to find and “capture” Birds in your area. Once you find them, you’ll scan the QR code in the same manner as you would rent them, and then you’ll load them into your vehicle and take them home for the night. The next morning, you’ll need to drop off the Bird scooters in their nest area (designated by the app) between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
Bird Scooters: The Future of Bikeshare
Bikeshare options ruled 2017, and scootershare is sure to take over 2018. At the front of the electric scooter rental pack is Bird, but it’s not the only player in the game. Have you used a scooter rental service yet? If so, which one?