The New Ride In PVD Everyone's Buzzing About & You'll Want To Take It For A Spin
Bird is the Word
These days it’s hard to keep track of what’s trendy, but if you’re like me you’ve seen people zipping around Providence on little black electric scooters with “Bird” written on them. East Side, Pawtucket, Fed Hill - this week felt like I had landed in a slightly alternate future. Not an apocalyptic alternate future, but one where things are just a little different. Everyone seemed to have one of these scooters except me. Almost like I wasn’t in on the joke. So I did a quick Google search…here’s what I found.
“Bird” is a small (but not that small) startup from San Francisco. It’s a new type of rideshare that lets you use electric scooters to get around town. Helmed by a former Uber and Lyft executive. And if you just asked yourself what a scooter rideshare was, you’re not alone. I had never heard of this, but apparently they’re not the only ones. Two or three companies have the same platform, all seem to be from the west coast.
So here’s the deal: like most things nowadays it’s app-based. So download “BIRD” and it will show you the location of scooters near you, kind of like when you’re hailing an Uber. Go to your scooter, scan the QR code and upload a picture of your driver’s license. Then, you’re off! After you get where you’re going, just respectfully park it somewhere not in the middle of a sidewalk or in the road and end your ride in the app. Done.
It costs $1 for the ride and .15 cents for every minute you have it. You’ll need a valid driver’s license. It says “Helmet Required” but let’s be honest, we know that’s not going to happen. You do, however, have to be 18 years or older to use them. Otherwise they’re pretty easy to operate.
For Providence being as small as it is, you could easily get across town for close to half what an Uber or Lyft would cost you. As long as there was a scooter nearby. San Francisco is currently having a not so quiet fight concerning the scooters, mostly having to do with the quantity and people leaving them in the middle of the sidewalk once they end their ride. And knowing Providence I’m sure the powers that be are scratching their heads over how to regulate this new service.
You can check out my ride over on my IGTV channel and see the whole thing from start to finish. Click here to check it out!
+ Colin Carlton