Filling a Transit Gap
In the summer of 2019, the last two stops of the Los Angeles Metro Expo Line were temporarily closed for repairs, cutting off downtown LA from points west. This meant travelers trying to get to or from downtown car-free, or attempting to reach regional rail and bus services at Union Station, were left with limited options, longer travel times, and additional transfers.
True to our mission of replacing car trips and making cities more livable, Bird’s local, on-the-ground team took quick action to help alleviate the impacts of the closure, bringing to life the first and last mile dream. To do this the team:
- Created ‘nests’ where Birds could be staged near the two closed stations
- Deployed more Birds daily, particularly during the morning and evening commute peaks
- Enhanced our local Bird Watcher presence, ensuring that scooters remained appropriately parked and well-balanced amidst increased ride activity
During the first month of the closure, ride activity in the area demonstrated how Bird rapidly responds to cities’ changing mobility needs. With the presence of additional nests, and light rail no longer within reach, Bird provided people with a sustainable and accessible mobility option that was clean, congestion-free, and cost-efficient. And with the significant increase in the number of rides taken (weekly rides grew around fivefold overall), it was apparent that access to this micro-mobility option was meeting a need.
The Los Angeles Metro closure demonstrates the extent to which Bird can close last-mile gaps, provide mobility within transit deserts, and help cities and transit agencies adapt to short-term changes. Bird is providing cities the vital building blocks to help transition toward a more human-scaled, accessible, and car-light future.