Pedestrians might not be so pleased, but the young – or the young at heart, at least – will have welcomed the electric scooter trial in London which started yesterday (November 6th, 2018).
Already operating in a host of US locations as well as European cities including Paris and Brussels, Bird has brought its scooters-for-hire service to the Queen Elizabeth Park in east London, home of the 2012 Olympics.
The electric scooters can be hired via an app and cost £1, and then 20p per minute of use.The scooters have become a common sight in many US cities in recent months as the latest form of urban transport, but an extensive rollout in the UK is unlikely for the moment given current regulation which prevents powered scooters being ridden on public paths or roads.
How to use Bird
Download the Bird app on your smartphone.
Create an account and verify your age with a driving license (you must be 18+).
Open the app and find the nearest scooter.
Scan the code on the top of the scooter to unlock it and start your trip
Once you’ve reached the destination, leave the scooter in a responsible place!
Bird hopes its pilot, which is taking place along one path on private land, can help with “ongoing constructive conversations with policy makers”.
The route runs between the Westfield shopping centre and the Here East business campus in the park, where Bird has its UK offices. And thanks to GPS tracking on the scooters, if you try to take them across the park boundary and off private land, they will power down and stop working
Says Richard Corbett, the company’s UK boss, pictured below:
“One of the biggest issues modern cities face is increasing congestion and decreasing air quality. Bird’s mission is to help solve these problems by getting people out of cars and onto environmentally friendly shareable electric scooters.
“We’re really excited to be launching the UK’s first electric scooter pilot – helping connect the Here East campus with Stratford. We really hope people will try Bird in the Olympic Park and see the advantages it brings.”
The firm’s scooters can only be used by those aged 18 and over between 7am and 9pm, which enables them to be collected and recharged overnight, as well as reduces the chances of theft, vandalism or misuse during night-time hours.