Bird first launched (foisted?) its e-scooters on an unsuspecting Santa Monica in September of 2017. With this move, the company obviously subscribed to the adage, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Obviously, this tactic has worked because Bird is one of the leading scooter companies in the world, valued at $1 billion.
- First launched in 2017, Bird scooters dominate the market.
- The lack of a plan to responsibly park the vehicles pissed off a lot of cities, leading them to ban scooters.
- In an attempt to solve the problem they helped create, Bird has released an incentivized parking program to get scooters off the sidewalk.
The descent of the Birds without permission caused outrage in cities such as Beverly Hills, which quickly banned and impounded them for littering the sidewalks. So… Bird knew it was coming. It needed to ask for forgiveness if it was to survive, let alone happily coexist on city streets.
Though Bird sued Beverly Hills for the ban, which doesn’t exactly sound like an apology, it is starting to make amends. In a tacit admission of guilt–not quite an apology, but close enough–Bird has rolled out what they call a “comprehensive parking solution” – in Paris – merci beaucoup.
A new in-app parking feature provides monetary incentives for Bird riders to park in designated zones. With the app, riders can find parking spaces using visual reference points, real time navigation and GPS enabled alerts informing them once they are within an approved parking space. In partnership with the city, Bird will set up and move parking locations to help get dumped Birds off the sidewalk.
“The city has spoken and we have listened,” says Kenneth Schlenker, Head of Bird France. “This intuitive new experience for riders means we can work with the city to help direct our riders to two wheel parking zones, while maintaining the best possible rider experience.”
Well, yeah, Ken. You better make nice if you want your scooters welcome in the City of Lights. Come September France was going to ban Bird because locals are fed up with the two-wheeled vehicles cluttering public areas and increasing accidents.
Okay, here’s a true story. I tripped over a Bird in my neighborhood and ruined my freshly painted toes. I was none too pleased. Do you think if I filed a suit against Bird they’d pay for a new pedicure?