While San Francisco only allows Skip and Scoot to operate as part of the city’s shared electric scooter pilot program, Bird has found a way to claim some market share. Bird is using its business license in San Francisco to introduce monthly personal rentals in the city. The program enables people to rent a scooter for $24.99 a month with no cap on the number of rides.
Once you place an order for the scooter, someone from Bird will get in touch to arrange the delivery of the scooter, charger and lock. After your month is up, Bird will pick up everything from you. Bird is able to do this because the law in San Francisco pertains to companies that park the scooters on sidewalks and in other public spaces.
“Renting a Bird for an entire month of unlimited use will cost less than just a couple of ride hail trips or parking garage days in most cities,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a statement. “With personal rentals, we are providing greater access to a sustainable form of transportation that people can depend upon for more affordable and convenient daily commuting needs.”
Soon, Bird will also bring rentals to Barcelona, another market where Bird does not offer shared electric scooters. Scooter-sharing in SF and Barcelona is highly regulated, so Bird’s delivery program is a very neat way to not be hindered by regulation. By dropping off the scooters directly to individuals, it’s akin to simply owning your own scooter — from the city’s perspective, that is. The bigger barrier for Bird, however, may be how many people have already decided to simply by their own scooters.
Bird first introduced its delivery product in October. At the time, the idea was to offer riders scooters on a daily basis. For now, Bird will offer one-month rental periods but may explore other durations in the future. Similar to other subscription products, people can renew or cancel whenever they want.