Bird scooters emerged in the U.S. last year becoming very popular, but they’ve also generated a lot of controversy nationwide. Two weeks ago they rolled into Bakersfield.
A flock of birds brought a lot of excitement into our community, but the rules of the road surrounding the two wheel scooters are important.
“They’re everywhere this is like a dream come true,” said Alex Balfour, rider.
Traveling up to 15 mph, Bird electric scooters are the new ride share craze. Once you arrive at your destination, someone else can jump on. All you have to do is download the Bird app.
“I think it’s cool, an alternative way for transportation, a little cheaper than Uber and Lyft,” said Nicolas Campos, rider.
Bird currently has a special program for people enrolled on a state or federal assistance program: The One Bird Option. This option eliminates the $1 base fee riders are charged. This means they can ride the scooter for only 15 cents a minute.
Current military and veterans also benefit from this deal, all you have to do is reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
“[It’s a] convenient way for short transportation,” said Campos.
With that convenience comes rules that all riders must follow.
Only one rider per bird
Riders must be 18
No riding on sidewalks, use the bike lane.
No riding while intoxicated
Follow the rules of the road
And even though the state doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, bird officials strongly suggest you do. They released the following statement to us:
“To help ensure all people have equal access to helmets, bird provides them to riders for free; we have given away more than 50,000 free helmets.”
All you have to is pay for shipping. I found the cost of shipping to Bakersfield is $1.99.
But, even with safety warnings hundreds of riders have been injured across the nation.
“There’s going to be those people that are doing things they shouldn’t be doing and it’s going to ruin it for the people that are actually using the birds for what they’re supposed to be used for,” said Campos.
We contacted local hospitals and the Bakersfield Police Department; fortunately, they report no Bird injuries in Bakersfield.
For safety, rides are available only during the day. Trips in progress during sundown can continue until the rider ends the session.