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Bird scooters land in Bloomington


A Bird scooter parked Sept. 14 outside Franklin Hall. The dockless scooter-share program recently became available in Bloomington.  Matt Begala

The dockless scooter-share company Bird has officially landed in Bloomington. Here’s what you should know about the new scooters on the block.

What are Bird scooters?

Bird scooters are electric scooters designed to be ridden and parked wherever the rider desires. Similar to a bike-share program, each ride is paid for through a mobile app, according to Bird’s website. 

A daily pick up program retrieves scooters around town at night and puts them back in convenient locations for the following day’s use, according to Bird’s website. Users can also sign up to provide overnight charging for the scooters and be paid for it.

Bird is one of many new companies including Lime, Ofo and Pace using short-range vehicle sharing to solve the problem of “the last mile.” This phrase refers to the inability of public transportation to get a person from one exact location to the next, which deters people from using public transportation. 

How much do they cost?

According to Bird’s mobile app, riders must pay $1 initially to begin their ride and 20 cents per minute. Riders must enter credit card information to make payment and scan his or her driver’s license to begin the ride.

As a part of Bird’s Save Our Sidewalks Pledge, the company pays $1 per scooter per day to the city in which the scooters are in to contribute to infrastructure building and maintenance costs such as building more bike lanes.

How do you use them?

To use a Bird scooter, first download the app on your mobile device. Then, through the app, locate a scooter near you and tap to unlock. Details on how to use the acceleration and breaks, foot placement and safety and parking tips are on the app under “How to Ride.” 

Bird also offers free helmets, excluding a $1.99 shipping fee, to all active riders, according to their website. Riders can request helmets through the app.

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