Modern Mobility: Bird & Transit

Recently, we wrote about how Bird and Cities are on a shared path, and published an interview with Mayor Dr. Robert Garcia illustrating how these common values are playing out in practice in Long Beach. A member of the Los Angeles Metro board, Dr. Garcia also noted the natural alignment between mobility options like Bird and public transit — and the steps the City and Metro are taking to bolster this linkage.

Public transit is the original shared mobility option and the most effective means of moving cities and regions at scale. Amidst a troubling decline in U.S. transit ridership over the past several years, most agencies that have grown their ridership are those who have doubled down on what they do best, redesigning their bus networks and maximizing frequency along the most popular corridors.

But that’s not the only transformation happening in public mobility. As transit agencies prioritize core services, they are also embracing emerging mobility options like Bird to help them provide first and last mile connectivity, and deliver hard-to-provide service. In other words, as transit does more of what it does best, it is in many cases looking to partner with private operators to fill in the gaps for those first and last mile needs.

Bird can bring more people to and from transit by increasing its “access shed” — or, the number of people who can reach high-quality transit in less than 10 minutes. This distance is about 0.5 miles on foot, but 1 to 1.5 miles or more on a Bird. In New York, for instance, a citywide launch would bring an additional 1.5 million people into a convenient reach of a subway stop.

These synergies are already playing out naturally in cities across the country: people are using scooters to reach transit, turning bus stops and transit stations into de facto mobility hubs. In Denver, for instance, a city survey found that 37% of respondents reported using a scooter to access public transit, 19% doing so once or more per week.

Bird is bolstering this linkage by nesting Birds where they’re most useful to transit riders — near bus and train stations — and we’ve collaborated with transit agencies like MATA in Memphis and Capital Metro in Austin to deploy Birds at their busiest transit stops. We’ve also installed physical parking at major rail stations in Paris, in partnership with the French national railway company (SNCF), and have worked with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to put available Birds directly into their trip planning and payment app, on the map with the train and bus.

Looking ahead, Bird is also adding its voice to policy conversations about how public and private modes can best partner to improve mobility, working with groups like NACTO, the Shared-Use Mobility Center, Shared Streets, and the New Urban Mobility Alliance (NUMO), and most recently, becoming a founding member of the Streets for All Coalition. Together with these advocates, we are pursuing policies that prioritize the movement of people, not cars, and that place transit and complete streets at the core of mobility policy.

Whether on a Bird, the bus, or both, we’re proud to be helping cities and regions move.