The future of public transportation is here, and it’s arriving in fleets
STORY: Claire Ruhlin
You’ve probably noticed more Atlantans traveling by scooter. That’s because Bird, an electric vehicle-sharing company, introduced its fleet of app-accessible, electric scooters to Midtown, as well as Tech Square, Downtown and the West End, in May.
The dockless vehicle is meant to be used for short-distance travel or during the “last mile” of your journey—distances too far to walk and too short to drive (think from MARTA to your destination). “While public transportation is great, it often doesn’t take you exactly where you want to go,” says Bird spokesman Kenneth Baer. “Adding more cars to the road is not the solution; they add to congestion and create more carbon emissions.”
The app will help you locate the Bird “nest” nearest to you. Just keep in mind that rides are only available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., after which Birds are picked up for storage, charging and repairs. Nests can be found at private properties across the city, with three scooters per nest unless the property owner agrees to host more. One charge will get you 15 miles, and each scooter accelerates up to 15 miles per hour.
Each ride is just $1 to begin, plus 15 cents for each additional minute. Riders must be at least 18 years old and upload a driver’s license to the app before riding. Bird will give $1 per vehicle per day to city governments to support more bike lanes and promote safe riding.