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Bird now cleans its shared scooters way more often for safer rides

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This article was originally published by Steve Schaefer on Clean Fleet Report, a publication that gives its readers the information they need to move to cars and trucks with best fuel economy, including electric cars, fuel cells, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and advanced diesel and gasoline engines.

Bird, a leader in the electric scooter market, is relaunching in some cities with not only a strict regimen of protective cleaning, but with a new feature that makes it faster than ever to grab and use a scooter. Now, welcome Quick Start.

If your key stays in your pocket when you enter and start your car, you already get the hang of it. Rather than having to scan a QR code on the scooter with your phone, now you just walk near it and press the Start button that appears on your phone. Then, off you go.

“Our product, design and development teams are continually striving to innovate and push the industry forward for the benefit of our community,” said Scott Rushforth, chief vehicle officer at Bird. “Quick Start is the latest industry-first feature to emerge from this collaboration, and it’s one that we believe will deliver riders a more magical micromobility experience.”

Safety during COVID-19 restrictions

If you’re concerned about the safety of using a shared scooter now, here are the steps Bird is taking to ensure its scooters are clean and ready to go:

  • They have set clear guidelines for deep cleaning and sanitizing the scooters
  • They thoroughly sanitize each vehicle every time they are recharged or serviced with CDC-approved disinfectant products
  • They perform regular spot cleanings in the field on surfaces such as bells, throttles and handlebars
  • Technicians use face masks, hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves, protective goggles and disinfectant sprays and wipes, and are required to wash their hands regularly and dispose of gloves after each use

Riding longer

And riders are coming back as shelter-in-place restrictions lift. Interestingly, they are taking longer rides, too.

Bird electric scooters
Bird scooters are being used longer–and can be purchased

“Over the past month, we’ve seen sustained increases in trip duration of more than 50%,” said Ryan Fujiu, chief product officer at Bird. “We’re seeing strong indications that it may be a much longer-term trend related to things like public transit concerns, nearly a thousand miles of new open streets and a spike in the construction of protected cycling infrastructure.”

Some of those long rides may be turning into purchases as Bird has also launched a store at shop.bird.co to sell its scooters for adults and kids.

Perhaps riders are using the scooters instead of taking the bus. Or maybe people are just happy to get out of their houses again.

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Published June 14, 2020 — 15:00 UTC