Following a competitive application process, the City of Santa Rosa has awarded Bird Rides, Inc. (Bird), the permit to operate up to 200 shared electric scooters in Santa Rosa during the city’s one-year pilot program planned to launch this summer. Bird scooters will initially be deployed in the Downtown/Railroad Square area, Santa Rosa Junior College, Roseland area, and several other surrounding neighborhoods.
Scooter share has emerged in recent years as a popular transportation option, especially in downtown areas, among visitors, for a quick errand, and for use in tandem with transit to bridge ‘first and last mile’ connections. During the pilot program, Bird will be the only scooter share system permitted to operate within the City.
Scooters can be located and rented through Bird’s mobile app or text messaging. The scooters will not have a fixed location, or home base, where they can be rented or must be returned; rather, the scooters are publicly available wherever the previous trip ended. Bird will redistribute scooters daily to meet travel patterns.
Rentals are available for individuals with a valid driver’s license or learners permit and will cost $1 per ride, plus $0.39 per minute. Bird will offer 50% off to income qualifying individuals or groups. Daily, weekly, and monthly passes will also be available.
Scooters can travel up to 15 mph and are prohibited from operating on sidewalks, in accordance with state law. They are also equipped with geo-fencing technology that detects when a scooter enters a designated ‘slow zone’ or ‘no ride zone’ and decreases the scooters speed accordingly. Designated areas will include those with high pedestrian activity, such as Old Courthouse Square.
When an individual has completed a trip, the scooter must be locked to a fixed object such as a bike rack or street sign using the integrated locking mechanism provided. Scooters are not permitted to be parked in a manner that impedes accessibility.
In developing the Pilot Program, City staff conducted extensive research on best practices and sought to proactively address accessibility and safety challenges experienced in other cities and have addressed these concerns in the operator’s agreement.
See something? Say something!
Members of the public are encouraged to report any accessibility and safety issues they observe, such as mis-parked scooters, directly to Bird, who will be required to respond in a timely manner. Requests can be made by calling 1-866-205-2442, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, Tweeting @BirdRide, or submitting a form at www.bird.co/contact-us/. Please be sure to note the scooter ID number, located on the neck of the scooter, when submitting a request.
About the City’s Shared Scooter Pilot Program
City Council approved the Shared Scooter System Pilot Program in December 2021 as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to improve mobility options, reduce traffic congestion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
The City will evaluate the scooter pilot program in part based on Bird’s commitment and ability to proactively address known challenges and problems associated with scooter share, including proper parking, safe riding, and equitable access. City staff will monitor and assess the program throughout the pilot period. City Council will receive an update near the conclusion of the pilot program to provide direction as to whether to continue the program, either as a pilot or on a permanent basis, or terminate/suspend the effort.
Additional information about scooter and bike share can be found at srcity.org/Bike-Scooter-Share.