Local public bikeshares have a critical role to play providing cities with a sustainable, affordable transportation network—and Bird is committed to helping it stay that way.
Today, we’re proud to launch a revolutionary integration between our shared scooter platform and local bikeshare service providers. Oslo, Austin, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Milwaukee will be among the first cities to feature their local bikeshare programs (Oslo City Bike, Metrobike Austin, Metro Bike, SA Bikeshare, and Bublr Bikes Milwaukee) directly in the Bird app to help encourage multimodal mobility and reduce dependence on ICE vehicles.
The initiative is part of our Smart Bikeshare Program first announced in June. Together with Bird’s own shared e-assist bikes and our award-winning fleet of shared scooters, we’re able to strategically meet the multimodal mobility needs of cities without monopolizing transportation options or competing with local businesses.
“This is a forward-thinking program that underlines the benefits of GBFS data and demonstrates how different micromobility options such as shared scooters and bikes can work together towards the same positive goal,” said Sam Herr, Executive Director at the North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association (NABSA). “This is an exciting initiative as we all look to increase the usage and access to clean transportation alternatives.”
How it Works
Bird’s integration with public bikeshare services is completely cost free to cities and local operators.
Riders searching for vehicles in the Bird app will automatically be able to see nearby public bike stations along with the number of bikes currently available at each. Tapping the icon will take the rider to the local bikeshare app where rentals can be started in just a matter of moments.
While these US and European cities will be the first to implement this program at scale, Bird began partnering with Italian e-moped operator ZigZag on a similar integration earlier this year.
“Our partnership with Bird is helping establish a new industry standard, one that benefits riders, cities and local businesses alike,” said Zig Zag founder Emanuele Grazioli. “Integrating with Bird has given millions of scooter riders the opportunity to experience the benefits of e-mopeds, whether they’re local to Florence or visitors to one of Europe’s most renowned and beautiful cities.”
Helping Urban Commuters
Integrating public bikes and shared scooters is particularly important as many big-city commuters wrestle with returning to the office.
According to a survey conducted by the Partnership for New York City, the number of office workers expected to return to their offices by the end of September has dropped from 62% to 41% since May. This is due in large part to commuting concerns, particularly around safety and possible exposure to COVID-19.
The numbers reflect a larger trend among American workers. In a July survey conducted by TransLoc, 36% of adults said they would use public transit as their primary source of transportation—10 percentage points fewer than before the pandemic.
“Cities and riders are best served by transportation services that complement one another,” said Renaud Fages, Bird’s Global Head of Operations. “To serve all riders, we must think creatively in ways that support existing transit modes and fill in a city’s mobility gaps. Bird’s Smart Bikeshare Program was developed with this as our North Star, providing both our own shared bikes as well as multimodal integrations to meet riders where their mobility needs are.”
While Bird’s public bikeshare integration is initially launching in Oslo, Austin, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Milwaukee, we’re working to get more cities onboarded in the coming weeks. If your local bikeshare service would like to be featured for free in the Bird app, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will get back to you asap!
The integration is available on iOS today, and will be made available on Android devices in the near future.
To learn more about new products and multimodal initiatives launching across our network of 300+ partner cities around the world, subscribe to the Bird Cities Blog.