If you haven’t noticed already, electric scooters named Bird are taking over El Segundo!
Last night 30 Bird electric scooters were dropped off in El Segundo – strategically placed by Bird in anticipation of the El Segundo Artwalk – it was a surprise landing for both residents & the City of El Segundo!
Bird is testing in the Smoky Hollow District, Downtown area, and the Sepulveda business corridor. The goal is to connect the workers who work along PCH in East El Segundo to the Downtown area to increase economic development in Downtown El Segundo.
Our Test Ride
Members of the eGundo.com took to the streets today to try the new scooters and I must admit – they are a blast! The idea of jumping on a nearby scooter and running a quick in-town errand or taking the team to lunch and a joy-ride is exciting – at the same time, legally, you need to have a helmet to ride them (Bird says that you can get a free helmet through their App) and we found ourselves on a few occasions being on the receiving end of some not-so-happy motorist glares (you can’t ride on sidewalks which puts you in the streets with cars).
How Bird Works
Bird gives people the freedom to choose a less expensive and environmentally friendlier way to get around. Users find Bird through an app, start their ride for just one dollar, and then pay just fifteen cents per minute of use but it does come with restrictions – users must use a helmet, must stay off sidewalks, and generally, follow the same rules as bicycles.
Rules of the Road
- You can only ride if you have a valid driver’s license or instruction permit.
- Wearing a helmet is required for all ages.
- You must ride by yourself, and not with any passengers.
- You must ride on the road, never on the sidewalk.
- You may not park on the sidewalk in the way of pedestrian traffic.
- You must not ride at night unless the motorized scooter is equipped with proper lighting equipment, including a front light source which is visible from the front and sides, and reflectors.
At the end of the ride, the user parks a Bird in the furniture zone or where bike racks are located where available, out of the way of pedestrians. Bird riders can operate their fleet with the existing infrastructure, requiring no further public investment. Where city officials do see the need for more shared-streets infrastructure and user education, Bird pledges to remit a $1 per day per vehicle toward things like additional bike racks, bike lanes, etc. Funds starting yesterday will be set aside for the City of El Segundo.
Every night ALL Birds are removed from the streets, checked for maintenance needs, charged, and then reintroduced at pre-designated “nests” in the morning between 5 am and 7 am.
Safety is a priority for Bird. Every rider must scan their driver’s license, be over 18 years old, and agree to follow both state and local laws in order to ride. Bird also offers free helmets directly through their app. Further, each Bird has safety instructions printed on the footboard, which includes a contact phone number (1-866-205-2442) and an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Santa Monica-based electric scooter-sharing start-up is raising $150 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital that will value the company at $1 billion. While the idea of riding a scooter is fun, some are not as happy with the new transportation option with concerns about safety and nearby Santa Monica settling a criminal case against Bird in February 2018 for $300,000.
You’ll find mixed feelings about the growing new service from Santa Monica residents – do the pros outweigh the cons?
it will be interesting to see how Bird is received by residents of El Segundo and how the discussions go with the City of El Segundo after the scooters arrived unannounced and without City approval.