When all is said and done, April will likely go down as a decisive turning point in the urban mobility revolution.
On the 2nd, New York passed long-awaited legislation legalizing the operation of electric bikes and scooters statewide, including in the densely-populated New York City. By the 21st, the UK—the largest European economy to still ban electric scooters on all public streets—announced that it would be studying the safety of e-scooters in what is widely-viewed to be a precursor to legalization. That same week, cities across France and Italy announced unprecedented measures to increase cycling infrastructure and encourage micromobility.
“We are working to promote the usage of bikes and e-scooters,” said Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome. “We’re building new bike lanes, I’ve asked the government to open bicycle shops as quickly as possible and I’m pushing for more incentives on electric bikes. Otherwise we will be invaded by traffic.”
Amid the ongoing recovery from a global coronavirus pandemic that has rocked our understanding of everyday normalcy, one thing has become clear: a return to urban life choked by vehicle exhaust is becoming as unlikely as it is undesirable. A growing list of cities, states and countries are looking to micromobility alternatives such as scooters and bikes not only as a means of minimizing congestion but also as a way to maintain current social distancing norms.
At Bird, we’re keeping these priorities top of mind as we begin a measured, methodical approach to fleet rollouts in partnership with cities around the world. We know that micromobility can add a lot of good by facilitating essential tasks like commutes, grocery shopping and medical appointments, and we want to offer a safe transportation option as lockdowns are lifted.
The first phase of our measured rollouts will take place across the US and in a number of European and other international cities, including:
- Antwerp, Belgium
- Paris, France
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Oslo, Norway
- Los Angeles, CA, US
- San Diego, CA, US
- Denver, CO, US
- Indianapolis, IN, US
- Louisville, KY, US
- Kansas City, MO, US
- St. Louis, MO, US
- Portland, OR, US
- Austin, TX, US
- Salt Lake City, UT, US
In addition, we will be continuing our efforts to help medical workers and emergency personnel by offering free Bird rides as well as piloting our in-app program that helps riders easily find local restaurants that are open for takeout and delivery.
As with every launch, we will be maintaining our increased sanitization practices on each Bird scooter as well as working with local teams to ensure that we’re addressing unique health concerns.
When it comes to helping our cities get moving again after this global health crisis, Bird is committed to doing our part:
- Learn about our new Warm Up mode to help new riders and those who may be out of practice since being quarantined
- Read our Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Rebecca Hahn’s insights on how micromobility can help cities recover
- Discover how automotive and aerospace engineering helped build the world’s most sustainable electric scooter