can you take bird scooter home

One of my favorite developments in recent years has been the rise of alternative transportation methods. I’ve written in the past about bikeshare systems and why I think they are an amazing form of what is essentially mass transit.

In the time since I wrote that post, bikeshare systems have started to go dockless and other forms of non-car-based transportation methods have also started to pop up. The latest innovations in this space are electric scooters made by companies like Bird and Lime. If you live in any decently sized city, you’ve probably seen these scooters around. They’ve even gone international (see my brother below, scooting around on a Bird in Paris a few summers ago).

So, first things first, I am absolutely obsessed with these scooters – not just because they provide an alternative mode of transportation that I think is good for cities, but also because of what they present in the way of side hustle opportunities (more on that later). They’re also just plain fun to ride.

There are two big players in the scooter world – Bird and Lime, but there are other scooter companies out there, including Lyft, Spin, and others.

Using the scooters is pretty simple – you find a scooter using each company’s respective app, activate the scooter using the camera on your phone, then ride the scooter around until you’re done with it. After that, just drop it off wherever you are. You pay by the minute, with rates typically ranging around 30 cents per minute.

Riding these scooters is cool, but here on Financial Panther, what we care about is how we can make money from them. Since these scooters are electric, they need to be charged every day. Bird and Lime both utilize independent contractors – i.e. regular people like you and me – to pick these scooters up at night, charge them up in our homes, and put them back out on the street for the public to use. They call these people Bird Chargers and Lime Juicers.

For the past few years, I’ve been going out and doing just that, side hustling as a Bird Charger and Lime Juicer. With a bunch of scooter charging experience under my belt, I’m thoroughly convinced that this is a side hustle tailor-made for the millennial, young professional.

If you live in the right place, this is something that you can easily do. And it can pay big dividends for you.

Updates: When I first wrote this post, Bird exclusively used independent contractors to charge their scooter fleet. In recent years, Bird made some changes, switching Bird charging to a full-time model where chargers lease scooters, are responsible for all maintenance, and in exchange, receive a percentage of profits from each scooter. In some markets, Bird still uses independent contractors, but it seems like most markets have switched over to this new fleet manager model. This post is about how to charge scooters for Bird if you live in a market where they still use independent contractors.

Signing Up To Be A Bird Charger and Lime Juicer

Similar to many of my side projects, I was first introduced to these electric scooters by my brother. He informed me that these scooters were dispersed throughout the city and that he was compensated for charging them at night. If the scooters ever made it to Minneapolis, I knew I had to do this. And this past summer, as soon as I saw the advertisement below on Facebook, I registered to become a Bird charger.

can you take bird scooter home

Being a Bird charger was very simple to sign up for. I did it through the Facebook advertisement, but most people will probably do it through the Bird app. Though I can’t recall all of the questions, the registration process was rather simple and resembled that of any other gig economy app. Three Bird scooter charging cables appeared in the mail a few days later.

I registered ahead of the official launch in Minneapolis, so Bird hosted an in-person orientation where they demonstrated how to use the app and charge it. When I got off work, I took a bus to the orientation session and was shocked to see that they were providing free food and beverages for us. Score! I also had a pleasant surprise when I ran into my friend Krystel from AllSheSaves during the Bird charger orientation. com, who was also registering to become a charger for Bird Since we hadn’t planned this, it’s a great illustration of how similar minds can think!

I first signed up to be a Bird charger, but after seeing some Lime scooters parked on a sidewalk on my way into work one morning, I also signed up to be a Lime charger—or Lime Juicer, as they call it. The application procedure for becoming a Lime Juicer was essentially the same as that of becoming a Bird charger: I applied online, was accepted shortly after, and then attended an orientation meeting that same day. Lime provided us with four charging cables during the orientation so we could get the scooters charged.

I had now registered with both scooter companies, so it was time to go racing!

Note: Your experience may differ from mine, which was free of charge when I signed up for the chargers. It appears that you are now charged by both Bird and Lime for the scooter chargers. You will need to determine if the chargers are worth the money. I believe it is, particularly if you reside in a region where scooters are common.

While there are a few requirements to become a Bird Charger or Lime Juicer, there are essentially three steps involved in charging an electric scooter:

  • Go into charger mode and find scooters to charge.
  • Seize the scooters and recharge them at your residence, place of business, or anyplace else.
  • After they are fully charged, release the scooters at a Bird Nest or LimeHub.

I’ll go through each of these steps below:

1. Finding a Bird or Lime Scooter to Charge

Locating a Bird or Lime Scooter that you wish to charge is the first step. You’ll get a new button in your Bird or Lime app that allows you to switch to charger mode when you sign up to be a Lime or Bird charger. Here’s what it looks like in Bird, for example:

In Lime, it’s the same thing. They just call it “Juicer” mode.

When in charger mode, all of the nearby scooters that require charging will be visible to you. In the Bird app, it’ll look something like this.

And here’s what it looks like in the Lime app:

As you can see, the scooters pay out in accordance with the duration since their last charge. In general, the pay will increase with the amount of time the scooter has been charged (I’ll go into more detail about how pay works later in this post).

Scooters may appear all at once during the night in your area, or they may appear as their batteries run low. In Minneapolis, Lime scooters appear when their batteries run low, and they all appear around 10 p.m.

Agency spokesman Paul Rose told CNET, “We learned about this new program today and are going to get more details to determine whether or not it complies with existing regulations.”

Originally published April 30, 6 a. m. PT. Update, 6 p. m. Paul Rose, a spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, is quoted.

On Tuesday, Bird Scooters unveiled a new offering that they are referring to as “monthly personal rentals.” People would sign up for $25 monthly plans, during which they would be free to scoot as much as they like. The company will simply deliver a scooter to your location and retrieve it once you’re through.

Bird is first launching its new service in San Francisco and Barcelona, two locations where it isn’t yet available for regular dockless scooter rentals.

“The amount of carbon emissions polluting our planet increases globally as the amount of time people spend in their cars for commuting,” the company stated in a statement. “With personal rentals, commuters can swap out their all-too-common daily grind of wasting hours each week sitting in traffic for a more dependable and environmentally friendly option. “.