If you’re looking for an inexpensive option for transportation around the Birmingham area, there’s a new one in town. Bird scooters arrived in parts of the area Monday.
Bird, the company that produces the scooters, has been around for about a year, and their electric scooters are available in about 50 cities. It’s basically a ride sharing program that allows people to access the scooters via the company’s app. That will show you all the scooters close to your location. When you find one, you can pay a dollar to unlock it, and it’s 15-cents per minute after that.
The company drops off the scooters prior to 7 a.m. across the city in clusters of three, called a ‘nest.’ When you’re done using one, you can just leave near where you are (the company suggests bike racks or somewhere “out of the way of public pathways”). But that has led to concerns about clutter, according to reports in some of the cities where Bird is already available. The company says it tries to reduce this by picking up the scooters each night. They also say they won’t expand unless the vehicles are being used at a rate of three times per vehicle per day.
But concerns also have been raised about safety. In response, Bird announced the formation of a Global Safety Advisory Board on August 2. The goal is to create programs, campaigns and products designed to improve safety of Bird riders.
Birds are currently available in Homewood. They’ve also been seen in the Highland Park and Lake View areas.