How Scooters (and the Data They Collect) Can Transform Cities

Scooter-share programs from the likes of Bird and Lime have the potential to reshape urban life and reduce carbon footprints. Just don’t leave your ride in the middle of the sidewalk.

To date, more than 2 million people have rented a Bird scooter and zipped along to their destination. Perhaps you’ve seen them alongside rival contraptions, leaning up against trees and buildings or dumped in the middle of the sidewalk as if their occupants had been spirited away like an extra from The Leftovers.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Bird was founded in 2017 by Travis VanderZanden, a former exec for Uber and Lyft—both of which are now eyeing the scooter market. According to Bloomberg, it has secured a reported $418 million in funding for an estimated $2 billion valuation.

Bird scooters are strategically placed where Generation Z and millennials hang out: on the beach, at college campuses, near light rail and subway stations. They’re now available in 100 US cities, and Bird has hired key execsfor a team in Europe to jumpstart operations there.

But the market is getting crowded. Bird has many competitors — Spin, Skip, Hopr, Ridecell, Lime. The volume of dockless electric scooters on the streets is growing fast — and municipalities and residents are pushing back.

Read the full article at PC Mag.