Electric scooter company Bird comes to Washington DC, challenges competitors to be responsible

Gadgets, Miscellaneous, Startups
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Bird rolls out its electric scooters as part of D.C.’s seven-month dockless bike demonstration pilot this week. It introduced its scooters over the weekend in San Francisco and San Jose.

In California, Bird scooters are also on the streets in Santa Monica, Venice, the UCLA campus, Los Angeles and San Diego.

As part of its recent expansion, Bird is challenging other scooter- and bike-sharing companies to sign its “Save Our Sidewalks” pledge, or S.O.S., to prevent American cities from suffering what it calls the same fate of many Chinese cities, where out-of-control vehicle deployment has led to piles of abandoned and broken bicycles overrunning sidewalks and public areas.

“Although we are competitors, we all share a passion for the transformation that we are all working to bring about,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a letter to the CEOs of LimeBike, Ofo, Mobike and Jump.

Bird says since its founding last September, its riders have taken more than a half-million rides.

The District’s demonstration project will determine if dockless bike sharing — and now scooter sharing —will be allowed to remain in D.C., and determine how those businesses would be required to operate.

D.C. has said it generally favors the dockless program so far, according to the District Department of Transportation, even though dozens of bikes have been stolen and there are complaints about the bikes being left in the middle of sidewalks or other public spaces.

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