Scooter company Bird is partnering with mobility vehicle company Scootaround on a pilot program that will test accessible electric vehicle rentals in New York City this summer, the companies announced. A new button in Bird’s main app will let people with mobility issues choose one of three different models to rent, including three- and four-wheel scooters and the Whill Model Ci2 power wheelchair.
Once the rider chooses a vehicle, they pick a rental length between one and 14 days. Riders will get an in-person tutorial the day of their rental to ensure they’re comfortable using, charging, and storing the vehicle. Bird has a toll-free number for questions about the process.
“As micromobility options such as shared bikes and scooters continue to expand, we must ensure the benefits of these improved transportation networks be made as widely available as possible, including to persons with disabilities,” Kerry Renaud, CEO of Scootaround said in a statement.
New York State lifted its ban on electric scooters in 2020, and the city Department of Transportation announced Bird, Lime, and VeoRide would be part of its e-scooter pilot in the Bronx this summer.
Bird plans to roll out the partnership with Scootaround to more cities later this year, based on the results of the NYC pilot.