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E-Scooters Now Being Used for Business Travel While Bird Launches Subscription Service

Electric scooters are gaining more and more traction now with employees using them for business travel and Bird has even announced that they will offer a monthly subscription plan starting from this year [1,2].

Bird is now offering a monthly subscription plan of their electric scooters to residents living in San Francisco and Barcelona. With the new plan, riders will be able to rent their own electric scooter for a monthly flat rate of $24.99. To access the service riders will need to enter the Bird app and enter information about where and when they would like their Bird eScooter to be delivered (home, work, elsewhere). After the order is placed, a Bird representative will follow up to confirm details and arrange for a personal Bird, charger, and lock to be delivered. When the rental period expires, Bird will come and pick up the vehicle, charger, and lock from the customer.

The service will enable Bird to operate in San Francisco and is a clever way to get around the cities current rules that prohibit all dockless scooter companies (except for two firms, Scoot and Skip) to operate in the city.

Scooter companies are not only competing with each other but also with ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. By aiming to make their service more convenient to access they are hoping to get more usage. Not a surprise since T&E solution provider Certify recently published a report stating that employees are beginning to expense electric scooters to their employers with Bird accounting for 46 per cent of this new segment.

 

Personal comments

This is an interesting strategy to tackle some of the challenges Bird has been facing in general and specifically in San Francisco. By having people rent the scooters they might feel more a sense of ownership and not leave them anywhere for Bird staff to come to collect. This has been one of the main complaints related to scooters in several cities. The subscription service is also a way to enter the market in San Francisco even though the city initially wanted to limit the number of providers. 

 

Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.

 

Sources

1. 2019-04-26. Employees Start To Expense eScooter Rides

2. 2019-04-30. You can now rent a Bird electric scooter for $25 a month