The Bird’s Eye View: New Bird Scooters in Town!

Bird Scooters | Harrisonburg Homes Team

Seemingly overnight, Bird scooters have flocked to Harrisonburg. I’m sure you have as many questions as we do! How do these contraptions work? How do they get charged? How much are they? Well – we here at Harrisonblog have wondered the same things and we’ve done some sleuthing to find out the answers to these questions! Read on to learn more about the newest addition to Harrisonburg – the Bird Electric Scooter!

About

These ride sharing scooters are controlled by an app. The app is available for both Android and iOS. Once you download the app and enter an email address, it shows you a map of the available scooters and their charge levels. If you’re interested in taking one for a spin, simply open the QR scanner on the app (the Ride button) and scan the code on the scooter. It will then ask you to scan the front and back of your driver’s license. You can enter your credit card information in the app: it costs $1 to unlock and then $0.20 per minute.

Bird Scooters | Harrisonburg

The Ride

Ready to ride? To start the electric scooter, simply push the scooter along 2 or 3 times to get the electric motor running and place both feet on the footboard. If available, ride in a bike lane and avoid riding on the sidewalks.

Want to slow down? There is a brake on the left-hand side of the handlebars.

Done riding? Park by a bike rack, if available, and lock the Bird in your app. That’s it!

Please also follow all safety recommendations (like wearing a helmet and riding on the road) and please be courteous to others’ needs while you park on the sidewalk and don’t block walkways etc.

Bird Scooter | Harrisonburg Homes team
Thanks, Zach, for being our model!

Charging

Unlike other ride sharing programs, Bird scooters don’t have docking/charging stations around town. How do these scooters get charged? Well – if you’re interested in earning a bit extra money, you or your business can become a charging station! Sign up on their website with your address and bank account, they will send you charging equipment. You can find Birds, charge during the night, and then release in the morning. You get paid daily for the number of scooters charged and the amount varies depending on how hard the Bird is to capture, how many you charge at a time, etc. Make sure that you release the Birds back to the ‘nest’ before 7am or you won’t get paid.

Here is an interesting article we found about what it’s like working as a Bird charger.

Zach testing out a Bird Scooter!

Have you tried one of the Bird Scooters? Share your experience in the comments!

About Claire Wayman

Claire manages details of real estate contracts, coordinates social media and the Wilson Downtown Gallery, and keeps the team organized on a day-to-day basis. In her free time, she enjoys playing flute in various area groups and participating in local community theater.

5 thoughts on “The Bird’s Eye View: New Bird Scooters in Town!

  1. Craig Sales

    For a free 20 minute ride enter xzgwvmm on the payment screen before getting on your Bird!

    Reply
  2. Becky Blanton

    Too bad you didn’t cover the problem of these scooters being parked on sidewalks and blocking sidewalks and other entrances and handicap access to homes, stores, parking, and just plain old walking down the sidewalk! While they’re possibly a “great” addition for the entitled millennial or teen with a debit card, they are proving to be a hazard to other people, mostly elderly, or middle-aged who simply want to walk down the sidewalk without having to walk over or around them. There’s a great instagram account that shows these scooters being pooped on, set on fire, dumped in trash cans, or otherwise vandalized. https://www.instagram.com/birdgraveyard/?hl=en . Of course no Harrisonburg resident would do that, but it’s a sign that not everyone is enamored with these scooters. You and anyone who rides them would do well to park them on the street, NOT on the sidewalk, not blocking public access and NOT riding them on the sidewalks where they are proving to be a physical hazard to pedestrians. They are, by law, City Code: “Sec. 6-1-18. – Storing, etc., goods on the sidewalk or in a gutter; and state law: ยง 46.2-903. Riding or driving vehicles OTHER THAN bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, or electric personal assistive mobility (WHEELCHAIRS) devices on sidewalks. on the dangers of zipping around town on two wheels and brings gory detail to one of the more polarizing technology trends to emerge over the last year. According to Bloomberg [https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-30/the-bloody-consequences-of-the-electric-scooter-revolution?fbclid=IwAR0jsuGnU_kcgaZfNKrpELau8P8J0LcJSasQaX-OLG4nd3rDTW4p1XouZ8o]

    “Nine people who were injured by electric scooters filed the class-action suit on Oct. 19 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. It accuses startups Bird Rides Inc. and Lime — as well as their manufacturers Xiaomi Corp. and Segway Inc. — of gross negligence, claiming the companies knew the scooters were dangerous and deployed them in a way that was certain to cause injuries.

    Since e-scooters zoomed into the U.S. last September with the arrival of Bird, hundreds of riders and pedestrians have landed in the hospital with injuries ranging from severe gravel rash to knocked-out teeth, ripped out toenails and detached biceps, according to doctors and victims.

    Last month, three people died while riding scooters in Dallas, Cleveland and Washington DC.”

    As the old saying our mothers repeated endlessly in my youth goes, “It’s fun and games until someone loses an eye.” In this case, it’s going to be fun and games until Harrisonburg residents get tired of these things blocking the sidewalks, posing a physical hazard, and being a pain in the ass and start showing up at City Council meetings to protest.

    If you ride, rent, or love these scooters then be respectful of others. Don’t park them on the sidewalk. Don’t block access to buildings, shops, benches, the bus stops, and other PUBLIC areas. Don’t be a dick. Ride responsibly. Don’t ride on the sidewalk if people are present. Don’t weave in and out of traffic. Obey traffic laws. Park them where they aren’t invisible to other cars and vehicles. There are enough of us who aren’t happy with them that we can start signing petitions to get them removed entirely. We CAN co-exist, but NOT if people keep blocking sidewalks and being irresponsible with their use.

    Reply
  3. Michael Knupp

    Tired of watching people in wheelchairs not be able to travel on sidewalks because these scooters are on the way. I saw a woman on a wheel chair the other day have to drive on the road around snow piles dangerously because there where like 9 scooters in 15 feet.

    Reply
  4. ScooterPatrolBecky

    Lol, who would have thought someone named Becky would have such an issue with a new generation and a potential progressive change to a city that may help those who need to get from one side of town to the other. If used appropriately, it is cheaper and keeps the auto traffic congestion down. Would you rather have more distracted car drivers on the road or scooters? Given an option, I would rather have my car hit by a scooter than another auto. There does need to be regulation and respect of others. Please remember, these are kids that just got something new and shiny, after that wears off and people are fined and the rules are set, hopefully they can be used in a way that benefits the user and keeps those who resist change from screaming to the heavens about millennials and CHANGE!!!! And by the way, the new generation you are seeing are iGen / Gen Z. Unclench.

    Reply
  5. Beau Floyd

    I think most of us would be more apt to accept the arrival, and flooding, of these scooters if they weren’t blocking off most of the walkway, that is the sidewalk. It is, truly, a safety hazard for some people. Easy enough for me to walk around, but I am a 33-year-old with good balance and decent vision. If we could address this issue, I would certainly be more welcoming of them!

    Reply

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