Bird introduces free integration for city bikeshare schemes

Posted: 24 September 2021 | | No comments yet

Five cities across the U.S. and Europe will feature their local bikeshare programmes directly in the Bird app to help to encourage multimodal mobility.

Bird introduces free integration for city bikeshare schemes

Local public bikeshares have a critical role to play in providing cities with a sustainable, affordable transportation network – and Bird is committed to helping it stay that way.

On 22 September 2021, Bird launched an at-scale integration between the scooter operator and local bikeshare service providers. Oslo, Austin, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Milwaukee will be among the first cities to feature their local bikeshare programmes (Oslo City Bike, Metrobike Austin, Metro Bike, SA Bikeshare and Bublr Bikes Milwaukee, respectively) directly in the Bird app to help to encourage multimodal mobility and to reduce dependence on Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.

The initiative is part of Bird‘s Smart Bikeshare Program, which was first announced in June 2021. Together with Bird’s own shared e-assist bikes and fleet of shared e-scooters, the operator has been able to strategically meet the multimodal mobility needs of cities without monopolising transportation options or competing with local businesses.

“This is a forward-thinking programme that underlines the benefits of GBFS data and demonstrates how different micro-mobility options – such as shared scooters and bikes – can work together towards the same positive goal,” said Sam Herr, Executive Director at the North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association (NABSA). “This is an exciting initiative as we all look to increase the usage and access to clean transportation alternatives.”

How it works

Bird’s integration with public bikeshare services is completely cost free to cities and local operators.

Riders searching for vehicles in the Bird app will automatically be able to see nearby public bike stations, along with the number of bikes currently available at each. Tapping the icon will take the rider to the local bikeshare app, where rentals can begin in just a matter of moments.

While these U.S. and European cities will be the first to implement this programme at scale, Bird began partnering with Italian e-moped operator ZigZag on a similar integration earlier in 2021.

“Our partnership with Bird is helping to establish a new industry standard, one that benefits riders, cities and local businesses alike,” said ZigZag founder, Emanuele Grazioli. “Integrating with Bird has given millions of scooter riders the opportunity to experience the benefits of e-mopeds, whether they’re local to Florence or visitors to one of Europe’s most renowned and beautiful cities.”

Helping urban commuters

Integrating public bikes and shared scooters is particularly important as many big-city commuters wrestle with returning to the office.

According to a survey conducted by the Partnership for New York City, the number of office workers expected to return to their offices by the end of September 2021 has dropped from 62 per cent to 41 per cent since May 2021. This is due in large part to commuting concerns, particularly around safety and possible exposure to COVID-19.

The numbers reflect a larger trend among American workers. In a July 2021 survey conducted by TransLoc, 36 per cent of adults said that they would use public transit as their primary source of transportation – 10 percentage points fewer than before the pandemic.

“Cities and riders are best served by transportation services that complement one another,” said Renaud Fages, Bird’s Global Head of Operations. “To serve all riders, we must think creatively in ways that support existing transit modes and fill in a city’s mobility gaps. Bird’s Smart Bikeshare Program was developed with this as our North Star, providing both our own shared bikes as well as multimodal integrations to meet riders where their mobility needs are.”