Bird e-assist bikes launch in San Diego

  • September 27, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

This month, San Diego became the first US city to launch Bird’s new fleet of shared e-assist bikes.

The launch comes as part of the Californian company’s exclusive micro-electric mobility partnership with San Diego State University (SDSU). Together with its Bird Two and Bird Three scooters, its shared Bird Bikes will be available to help SDSU’s 34,000 students as well as hundreds of staff and faculty members navigate the 280-acre campus without needing to rely on petrol-powered cars.

“We’re excited to partner with Bird to help provide SDSU students, staff and faculty with a fun, carbon-free micromobility option to use on and around campus,” said Debbie Richeson, director of parking and transportation services. “The SDSU community will have access to exclusive pricing and a selection of Bird’s high-quality scooters and bikes, making transportation efficient, affordable and sustainable.”

The shared e-assist bikes come with safety and sustainability features including dual hand brakes, onboard diagnostics, aerospace-grade aluminium alloy framing and a maximum range of 90km on a single battery charge. SDSU students will have access to reduced prices for unlocks on campus as well as incentives for riding responsibly including Helmet Selfie and automatic ride credits for proper parking.

Designed to help cities increase helmet usage and improve the safety of riders, Helmet Selfie offers riders incentives to wear a helmet while riding a Bird. At the end of each trip, riders are asked to take a selfie. Riders who demonstrate helmet usage will receive incentives such as future ride credits. Riders can also share their selfie via social media.

San Diego has also become one of the first cities globally to offer the latest Bird Three electric scooters in addition to its smart bikeshare programme.

Built to be the world’s most eco-conscious shared scooter, Bird Three offers features such as the claimed industry’s most sustainable battery, smart braking and acceleration technology, real-time diagnostic monitoring, and better visibility. The fleet was launched to help support the city’s ongoing initiatives to encourage micromobility use, perhaps best exemplified by the newly-completed protected bike lane along 30th Street between Juniper Street and Polk Avenue.

Since the launch of Bird Three, scooter use in San Diego has increased significantly. This includes an 80% jump in daily ridership along 30th Street itself from May (pre-bike lane completion) to September (post-bike lane completion), demonstrating how the availability of vehicles combined with protected infrastructure can lead to more active bike and scooter communities in cities.