Bird is experimenting with a new concierge service, in which the startup will deliver a dockless, electric scooter straight to a person’s house or place of employment upon request. Dubbed “Bird Delivery,” the new service promises an electric scooter delivered to your door by 8AM. It’s a sign that Bird wants to become synonymous with customer convenience as a dozen scooter companies jockey for position in cities across the US.
Currently, Bird’s normal dockless scooters are $1 to unlock (using an app) and then 15 cents for every minute of riding. There will most likely be a fee associated with the convenience of front-door delivery, but Bird isn’t releasing any information about pricing as of yet. The selection of cities to pilot Bird Delivery will be announced shortly, the company added.
It’s an interesting twist in the fast-paced shared scooter market, which has so far prioritized ubiquity over convenience. But scooter companies aren’t just competing with each other; they are also competing with ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Right now, anyone can summon a car to their location with just the tap of a button. With scooter services like Bird, there is some hide-and-seek involved, as riders need to locate the closest scooter using the app’s tiny map. Bird is aiming to cut through some of that inconvenience with its new delivery service.
And if it catches on, it could have a huge impact on mobility choices. Uber’s own data indicates that, given the opportunity, people will happily choose two wheels over four, especially when it comes to shorter trips.
In addition to a delivery service, Bird also unveiled its new, more ruggedized scooter that it says is more capable of handling heavy fleet use. Dubbed Bird Zero, the new electric scooter was manufactured in collaboration with Chinese company Okai. Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden said the company would continue to work with Ninebot, parent company of Segway, which manufactures the bulk of the shared scooters in the US.
Bird Zero has 60 percent more battery life, solid-core tires, a wider and longer riding chassis for a more stable ride, and an integrated digital display between the handlebars with speedometer and battery life. The device also contains improved GPS to make it easier to locate. Bird Zero is currently being beta-tested in Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta, Baltimore, Austin, and Salt Lake City.