Rome Reopens, This Time with Electric Scooters

Italy’s Eternal City is taking its first careful steps into life after the coronavirus lockdown, this time with the help of a new transportation partner.

In April, Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi made it clear that the Italian capital would be taking drastic measures to reduce dependence on personal automobiles. The city’s car density has long been problematic, placing it atop the list of European urban centers with the highest number of vehicles owned per capita:

“We are working to promote the usage of bikes and e-scooters,” said Mayor Raggi. “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.”

Electric scooter operators like Bird are taking a leading role in this effort by providing mobility alternatives with a significantly lower carbon footprint than cars that also allow for social distancing. A fleet of Bird One electric scooters was launched in Rome over the weekend, followed by a press conference with the Mayor in front of Rome’s world renowned Colosseum on June 3 to introduce some of the steps Bird is taking to promote micromobility as an everyday alternative to cars. 

Along with a Community Mode feature that allows anyone with the Bird app to quickly report incorrect parking and damaged scooters, Bird is offering several subscription options that provide additional free funds into riders’ accounts based on the package selected. We’re topping up subscriptions by up to 40% to ensure that people do not return to their cars. 

The launch comes less than a week after another European capital, Stockholm, also ramped up its micromobility offering with a fleet of new Bird electric scooters.