Bird’s Electric Scooters and Bikes Are Perfect for New Hampshire and Maine Cities
Meeting a couple from Kittery, Maine, over 2,000 miles away was not the most fun, nor the most interesting part of my trip to Aruba in 2022.
Instead, it was the tourists' means of transportation and how a few New Hampshire and Maine cities would be a perfect home to the revolutionary way of electronic micro-mobility.
"Micromobility" is a fancy way to say a large quantity of lightweight "vehicles" the public can rent that go less than 15mph.
E-Bikes and E-Scooters have become increasingly popular around the world due to the increased threat of carbon emissions, the cost to own and keep up with a gas-guzzling vehicle, and...well, they're just a fun way to get from point A to point B.
Bird, one of the most successful micro-mobility companies, has electronic transportation options in 350+ cities in over 25 countries, including Aruba, Dubai, the Netherlands, and many more. This got me thinking, why do we not have Bird's in Portland, Kittery, Manchester, Dover, and Portsmouth?
This type of transportation would lower congestion in overpopulated areas such as the SNHU arena, downtown Portland, Market Square in Portsmouth, and so on. Cheaper than Uber and Lyft, Bird's also help local business.
“All the data points to the same conclusion: e-scooters drive consumer spending and likely provide a significant financial boon to local economies,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing Daniel McCarthy, who co-authored the study along with Emory University PhD student Kyeongbin Kim, in a Bird.co article. “Obviously cities have many factors to consider when choosing to partner with Bird or others in the micromobility industry, but the economic benefit to local businesses should not be understated.”
Here is how it worked for me in Aruba:
1. Download the Bird app and enter your credit/debit card info.
2. Find a "Bird" (E-Scooter). There were E-Scooters parked all over the main strips, streets, hotel areas, beach rows, etc.
3. Using your app, type or scan the code on the scooter – green light means off you go!
4. Once at your stopping point, hop off and "end ride." Your card is charged $1.00 to start the ride and $0.51 per mile.
5. You always have to take a picture of the ending/drop-off point of your scooter. This includes showing that there is no damage, the scooter is not in the way of public walkways, and the scooter is "within range."
Before arbitrarily placing scooters all over downtown Portland and Portsmouth, the Bird company would work with local government and city officials to map out the usage area.
If in range, scooters can go up to 13mph. When headed out of range, the scooters would beep and slow down until they are back within the riding zone. They even have a locking feature that prevents stealing and riding one without paying.
Aruba and New Hampshire may have some major differences; however, means of easy transportation that lowers carbon emissions and traffic congestion could be one similarity with Bird E-Scooters and E-Bikes.