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Gone are the days when driving your own car or walking were the only options you had. You no longer have to ask your buddy for a ride since ride-hailing and ride-sharing services, like Lyft and Uber, are common today.
Another contender in the market is Bird Scooters. The company launched its operations in 2018 and since then has dropped many of its electric scooters across the country.
Bird scooters have changed the way people commute. Now, users merely have to download a mobile app, book a dockless electric scooter, and cruise around without having any detrimental environmental impact or waiting for a car.
But the introduction of Bird scooters in the ride-hailing market has left commuters confused about Bird price. Is it worth the switch from Uber and Lyft? Is it cheaper than driving your own car?
In this article, we’ll answer your pressing question; how much is a Bird scooter? Let’s get started.
Bird scooters are electric scooters that are available through a phone app for a ride, just like Uber cars. You can just put some information in the app and simply take the bird electric scooter around town without any excessive environmental impact since it’s fuel-free.
Quite interestingly, a former Uber and Lyft executive founded Bird in 2017 in California. The idea instantly became a huge hit among investors, leading the venture to gain the support of over a billion dollars.
What makes Bird scooters unique is their dockless functionality.
That means you don’t need to go anywhere in particular to get a Bird. Instead, you can use the app’s map function to find your nearest Bird. After riding to your destination, park the scooter there. It’s simple.
Initially, many cities were not open to the idea of hundreds of dockless scooters filling the roads. Thus, they restricted Bird scooters until they found a way to accommodate the fleet.
On the other hand, many cities openly welcomed Bird. In fact, the initiative is also expanding to other parts of the globe. Part of the reason for Bird’s popularity is its unique user experience and wide range of offerings.
When asking how much is a Bird, you need to be more specific since the app lets you book different types of rides. The ride you choose will determine the cost of the scooter and bird scooter rates.
First of all, how much an electric scooter costs depends on the type of scooters. Bird lets you choose from three ride types with different scooter options and battery lives.
Bird One is easily available since it’s most widely used. The main reason for this option being more opted for is the scooter’s long battery life - double that of a standard Bird. Therefore, choosing Bird One allows users to go to faraway parts of the city.
Also, Bird One scooters have a speed of 30 miles per hour and tend to be more durable.
Among the three options, Bird One is the only scooter you can buy along with renting. The Bird One scooter cost $1,299. But you also get a $100 ride credit and anti-theft protection free of cost.
Plus, the scooter comes with GPS tracking, helping you navigate easily throughout the city.
Bird Two is one of the latest models from the company that couples speed with safety. Plus, it gives you better control.
More importantly, its battery life is 50% longer than Bird One’s with a single charge, and it has the ability to self-report issues. So, you don’t ever have to worry about getting a damaged scooter. Since the battery is also more robust and durable, it will last like a champ even in rainy weather.
Bird Cruisers are ideal for two people since they come with a seat. You can go uphill and downhill easily since the Cruisers have 20-inch wheels. These scooters resemble the company’s Scoot Mopeds and Wheel Bikes closely.
All payments on Bird are through your credit card. You cannot pay through cash. Once you download the app and make an account, you’ll have to type your credit card details.
Once your ride is over, the fare will be withdrawn from the card.
Bird follows a unique payment model where you have to pay a $1 base fare to ‘unlock’ a scooter. After that, you pay $0.15 for each minute. However, the per-minute charges may be up to $0.20 in some cities in Texas, Tennessee, and other states.
Unlike Uber and other ride-hailing services, there is no mileage fee. So, the distance doesn’t matter as you are only paying for the duration of your rental. Moreover, Bird does not have any Surge times, so the rates stay the same throughout the day.
To get an idea of Bird scooter price, you need to determine; how fast do bird scooters go? On average, most Bird scooters go up to 15 miles per hour. However, traffic and other factors may not let your max out the mileage, so we’ll stick to 10 miles per hour for our calculations.
Let’s say you rent a scooter to travel five miles. If its speed is ten miles per hour, it will take you 30 minutes to cover the distance. Here’s how the cost adds up:
So, your total cost for the trip will be $5.5.
On average, you pay $1.50 for every ten minutes, which is much cheaper than Uber and Lyft rates in most cities across the US.
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Apart from the per minute and base free, Bird does not have any other cost. However, if you are in violation of the Bird User Agreement, you will have to pay additional fees.
If you’re careful and follow the rules, you will never have to pay any additional fees. Even better, the rules are pretty simple. Don’t damage your scooter. Park it properly.
More importantly, park it in an accessible place so that the next renter can reach it easily.
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Now that you know the Bird scooter price, it’s best to compare it with other modes of transportation before deciding if you should use the electric scooter rental as your daily commute.
Lime is a service just like Bird, giving competition to the dockless scooter provider. While there are some other electric scooter companies, too, they haven’t attracted investors like these two.
When comparing lime vs bird, you won’t find much difference since both services have the same pricing model. You pay a base fee and $0.15 per minute.
The only slight difference is Bird’s higher fee - up to $0.20 - in some cities. Meanwhile, Lime’s charges have remained the same for the past three years.
So, what’s the verdict? Well, you should download both apps and use the one that’s showing you a scooter closest to you.
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Taking your car to work will be cheaper than renting a Bird Air scooter.
We have come to this conclusion by using the IRS mileage system, which employers use for calculating tax deductions for employees who bring their personal vehicles to work.
The average per-mile rate according to this system is $0.545 per mile. Thus, every minute of driving will cost you 55 cents. Sure enough, this figure can change, depending on the build and the model of your car.
For example, if you have an electric or hybrid car, its per-mile expense will be lower. On the other hand, an SUV will be more expensive.
But then again, if we take the previous example of a five-mile distance and multiply $0.45 by 5, the final cost will be $2.25, which is half of what a Bird would have cost you.
However, you have to factor in other costs too. For one, you need to consider the upfront cost of buying a car. If you cannot afford one right now, Bird scooters are a great option for you.
CNBC reports that Americans are paying $371, on average, as monthly installments for a car. As per our previous calculations, a five-mile trip costs you $5.5. In this amount, you can take 67 five-mile trips.
Now, if this trip is to your office or college, Bird should cover you easily in this amount since you’ll have to take 60 trips - to and from - in a month.
Secondly, how much are you paying for parking fees? Since you don’t need to pay a parking fee for scooters, you can opt for Bird to save money.
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We can say without any complicated explanations that Uber is more expensive than Bird, mainly due to the large number of factors that determine your ride fare.
Firstly, there’s a base fare that’s a flat fee Uber charges for the driver to pick you up. Then, there’s a booking fee that covers administrative costs. Along with a per-minute fee, you are also charged a per-mile fee, depending on the distance you’re traveling.
At some times of the day, Uber charges surge pricing since there’s a high demand for vehicles. If you book a ride during these times, your final fare will be higher than normal.
More importantly, Uber has certain minimum rates for every city but additional fees may apply. For instance, if your city’s minimum is $8, you will have to pay that even if your ride time or distance amount up to $6.
Finally, Uber recommends tipping drivers, which is another cost added to the fare.
Uber is only a good option if you’re traveling with friends or if you use the Uber Pool option and the fare will be divided among everyone. Otherwise, it’s not a very budget-friendly mode of the daily commute.
On the other hand, Bird charges a $1 base fare. Plus, there are no surge prices irrespective of the time of the day you rent a scooter. Since there is no driver, you don’t have to tip either.
Whether you opt for Tampa scooter rental or use your Bird app for scooter rental Chicago, there will be no ‘local minimum’.
So, you only pay what your total is instead of your total amount rounded off to the minimum fare.
When comparing an electric scooter Bird price with public transport, the latter takes the win. On average, the bus fare for most cities is around $2. At this price, you’ll hardly travel for six minutes on a Bird, and it wouldn’t take you too far.
But here’s the catch. Public transit isn’t always available where you’re located. Besides, buses can be pretty crowded at times, and you may even miss one if you’re not at the bus stop at the right time.
While driving and ride-sharing are good options, they’re not always viable, especially if you share a car with your family and don’t know people who go the same route as you daily. Meanwhile, buses can be very affordable, but only if you stick to a tight schedule.
Bird scooters, on the contrary, are readily available.
Moreover, they’re pocket-friendly, considering the low Bird cost of 15 cents per minute. If you’re environmentally conscious and want to reduce your carbon footprint while saving a few bucks every month, give Bird scooters a try.
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