clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bird introduces scooter delivery service, but will it fly in Atlanta?

New, 45 comments

Because easier access doesn’t necessarily mean better Bird behavior

a picture of the new scooter’s handlbars
The scooter-share company is also unveiling the Bird Zero, with upgrades galore.
Bird

Like the carrier pigeons of old (sort of), Atlantans could soon be able to get Birds delivered to their doors.

The ubiquitous and controversial scooter-share company Bird has taken Atlanta and other major cities by storm, offering tech-savvy citizens a new way to commute and giving miscreants a fresh means of littering streets and sidewalks.

Bird scooters have been in Atlanta for less than six months, but they’ve already proven widely popular and easy to use—and abuse.

As it stands, however, finding a Bird to ride to work in the morning is only as easy as locating the nearest “nest.” That is, the place where people who collect and charge the scooters drop them off before Birds become operable each day at 7 a.m.

However, the company’s aiming to change that with Bird Delivery.

Four black Bird e-scooters sit in front of a white wall. Photo courtesy of Bird

It’s not yet clear which cities will get to test drive the new service or how much it will cost, but Bird announced on Thursday that riders will soon be able to request that a scooter be dropped off at their home or place of work by 8 a.m. (Selected cities are expected to be announced soon).

Plus, patrons will soon be able to reserve Birds for all-day use, which might curb the hijacking of other people’s scooters while they eat, drink, or work.

“Bird Delivery riders can then use [scooters] throughout the day to guarantee that they have an easy, affordable way to move around their city or campus without getting into a car, being stuck in traffic and adding carbon emissions to the atmosphere,” according to a Bird press release.

As The Verge points out, the delivery service aims to make Bird a more formidable competitor to ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Still, questions abound.

With shareable electric scooters already racing down the Beltline, city sidewalks, and on occasion, the interstate, does Bird have a prayer of correcting scooter faux pas in Atlanta? With morning traffic, could scooters be widely delivered across the city on time? And is such a delivery service something people will use in a car-obsessed city?

Or should this mobility experiment bypass Atlanta?

A photo of a man riding a Bird scooter on the highway Travis Salters/Emily Hoberman, via Atlanta City Council Twitter

Meanwhile, Bird is beta-testing a more rugged version of their scooters in Atlanta and five other cities called Bird Zero.

Enhancements include GPS tracking capabilities, 60 percent more battery life, a wider and longer riding chassis, and a digital display between the handlebars with speedometer and battery life.