Update 7/13/21 – Although the scooters had been scheduled to deploy on July 6, Bird rep Michael Covato, told the Banner on July 12, “Our shipping provider experienced some delays due to the additional demand following relaxed Covid restrictions. We are currently in the process of expediting the shipment to ensure the scooters arrive as quickly as possible. While I do not have an exact date at this point in time, I believe it will be sometime next week.”
Update: Michael Cavato of Bird told the Banner that the cost for using the scooters will be $1 to unlock and 39 cents per minute. He stated, “Given the geographic size and layout of Whitewater, this means that scooters can be an extremely affordable, quick, environmentally friendly, and fun way to navigate the area. In addition, we frequently put out various promotions that we hope our riders keep an eye out for in the app to receive discounts.” Also note that shown below is reduced pricing for riders with certain qualifications.
The City of Whitewater is partnering with shared electric scooter company, Bird Rides to bring e-scooters to the city on a one-year pilot program contract. The scooters are available beginning July 6th through a mobile phone application and riders pay to use the scooter per minute, at no cost to the city.
“We are happy to welcome Bird to the City of Whitewater. We look forward to having the scooters available for all residents and visitors to get around town and think it will be a nice addition to the community,” said Cameron Clapper, Whitewater City Manager.
The company plans on offering scooters to help reduce carbon emissions, as well as traffic congestion on
roadways. The scooters also offer residents without automobiles another transportation option.
The electric scooters can be used on roads and in bike lanes with a maximum speed of 15 mph. Scooters must
be parked out of the way of pedestrians and never blocking driveways. Riders are required to be 18 years or
older to access the scooters. They are also encouraged to wear a helmet on every ride and required to obey all
standard rules of the road.
To use the scooters, a renter will download the Bird app to their phone and create an account they will use for
each ride. Using the map in the Bird app, riders will find the closest Bird. It can be reserved up to 30 minutes in
advance. To start the ride, the renter will scan the Bird’s QR code with the app, hit the throttle on the right to go
and pull the brakes to slow. After the ride, renters will use the kickstand to keep the Bird upright and park it
away from public pathways in an approved parking spot found in the app. The rider will submit a picture of the
scooter to ensure the ride is complete and the scooter is parked.
Riders will be able to use the Community Mode allowing anyone with a Bird account to report or provide feedback on vehicle-related issues such as poorly parked or damaged vehicles in their area. Riders will be asked to provide the Bird ID number and the specific issue they are experiencing, then a Bird team member will be assigned to correct the issue. Community Mode can be accessed by tapping the yield sign on the bottom left of the Bird map.
Bird advises riders to check the app for the most up-to-date vehicle charge information, service area locations, and pricing.
For more details on how to use a Bird scooter, visit https://www.bird.co/blog/how-to-bird- beginners-guide-shared-scooter-riding/.
“Having an additional option for transportation will be very helpful for many residents,” said Clapper. “This will
also be a nice option for those who are visiting the city and want a new way of getting around and enjoying
what our city has to offer.”
Bird offers the following programs that are available for all who qualify:
● Community Pricing- Bird’s Community Pricing Program offers a 50% discount to low-income riders, Pell grant recipients, select local nonprofit and community organizations, veterans, and senior citizens. It’s designed to be the most inclusive micro mobility discount program available anywhere. To sign up for the Community Pricing Program, download the Bird app, create an account, and email your proof of eligibility to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit https://www.bird.co/blog/need-know-bird-expanded-community- pricing-program/ for more details.
● Free Rides for Healthcare Workers and Emergency Personnel- Bird is proud to offer free rides to healthcare workers and emergency personnel. To sign up, simply email a copy of your medical identification card along with your name and phone number to email@example.com. Eligible riders will receive two free 30-minute rides per day for as long as it takes to help our communities to recover from this global health crisis. Visit https://www.bird.co/blog/bird-providing-free-mobility-healthcare-workers- crisis/ for details.
Source: City of Whitewater press release