how to keep a bird scooter

Here on the Gridwise blog, we recently published the Ultimate Guide to Being a Lime Charger. Today, we’re covering another opportunity to work for a behemoth in the scooter industry – charging for Bird.

Bird first showed up on the streets of Santa Monica in 2017 and gave over 10 million rides in its first year of operation. The startup has now infiltrated over 100 cities across the world with the mission of cutting down CO2 emissions and traffic. Bird is also recognized as the fastest startup to achieve a $2 billion valuation, so they’re not messing around!

In this article, we’ll break down what it’s like to work as a charger for Bird Scooters. If you’re looking for an extra source of income in addition to rideshare driving, read on.

Just like Lime, Skip, and Spin, Bird is a dockless electric scooter company that offers on-demand rides accessible through a smartphone app. According to its website, Bird shares a mission with cities to “reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions by providing people with a safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly alternative to cars.”

To ride, you simply open up the app to find the location of the nearest scooter and electronically unlock it. The fee was originally $1 to unlock each scooter plus 15 cents per minute of riding, but it’s recently been announced that per-minute fares in some cities have doubled.

Bird is available in over 100 markets worldwide, including cities in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Check out this map to see the full list of cities Bird operates in.

2. How to park

When your ride is over, park your Bird vehicle neatly upright and out of the public right of way using the foot activated kickstand that comes with every vehicle.

Please make sure that your Bird is not parked in the middle of the walkway, as this may seriously interfere with the ability of people with disabilities to walk and use the sidewalk. Furthermore, kindly refrain from obstructing bus stops, stairways, doorways, or access ramps.

*Pro tip: You can always swiftly alert us by tapping the Community button ⚠ in the lower left corner of the Bird app if you see a tipped or improperly parked Bird and aren’t moved by the altruistic urge to tilt it upright for the next rider.

1. Where to park

When you’re ready to get off, use the Bird app to find the locations of authorized parking lots in your city.

Not all cities have the same parking rules. Parking corrals with prominent markings that match precise locations found in the Bird app can be found painted on the ground in cities like New York City. In certain places, like Washington, DC, our cars can be locked and parked at bike racks and other authorized locations for bicyclists. You can access all local parking information via the Bird app.

*Pro tip: Use the Bird app to find required or preferred parking spaces denoted with a “P.” Bird provides parking incentives in select cities, like Helsinki, whereby parking in a designated area will automatically result in a discount on your ride. No parking/no riding zones will be clearly marked in red.

how to keep a bird scooter

What is a Bird charger and how does it work?

In order to keep their scooters operational and ready to ride, Bird depends on “chargers.” A Bird charger is a person who collects scooters from the streets, charges them at their residences, and then returns the scooters to use the following day.

The process focuses on two major tasks: “harvesting” and “serving.”

  • Finding scooters on the street, picking them up in your own car, and charging them at home is known as “harvesting.” To harvest, launch the app and look at the map to find scooters that require charging. On the charger’s map, each Bird appears as a colored icon. The color code represents each scooter’s value according to how challenging it is to capture. For instance, birds that are hidden on private land are more valuable than those that are visible. After locating a Bird, a charger will use a QR code and the app to unlock the scooters, which they can then load into their car—ideally a bigger truck, van, or SUV—take them home, and recharge them.
  • Serving is putting the scooters back on the road following a charging night. Chargers get a message in the morning with details on the “Bird Nests”—drop-off locations. Users report that even though the Birds must be in the Nests by 7 AM in order for morning riders to start, they still received their full payout.

FAQ

Can I leave my Bird scooter anywhere?

Because Bird scooters are dockless, they can be left just about anywhere, including sidewalks and private property. The problem is that riders abandoning Bird scooters wherever they please creates safety concerns for pedestrians and motorists alike, depending on where the scooters are left.

Why can’t i park my Bird scooter?

In some cities, riders must park inside dedicated parking spots, per city regulations. Those are marked in the Bird app with a “P” symbol on the map. If you are inside a parking spot but still cannot end your ride, there might be a GPS location issue and we apologize. We know this can be frustrating.

What is the lifespan of a Bird scooter?

Using that data, Quartz determined the average lifespan of a Bird scooter in Louisville to be 28.8 days, or just shy of a month. To state the obvious, that’s not very long.

What keeps people from stealing Bird scooters?

There is a GPS device and an alarm in each escooter. Most people are too lazy to disable them. However, some are not. You can buy $30 kits to disable the GPS and basically make a Bird scooter your own.