- Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:07 am
Well, I'm far from an authority on these things. I agree with you about Bird being seen as a villain. I only have experience with Bird and Lime, but between the two, I think Lime scooters are much better maintained. When looking for a Bird, it's not uncommon to find a large portion of them as unsafe or unrideable. Loose steering posts, broken throttle wiring, flat tires, brakes that don't work, etc (M365). Chargers just keep taking broken birds at night, top them off, then release them in the morning, still broken.
Using the scootermap.com (on charger mode) to look at lime and bird in different cities, there are MUCH less missing Lime scooters, often 0 listed for some cities. However Bird often has hundreds of missing scooters in the cities they serve, and you can see the bounties and how long they've been missing. Bird offers $3 bounty for scooters that are missing for 2 months, and I saw some $13 bounties for scooters missing for 3 months. I can't find any missing for more than 3 months, so all these missing scooters listed went missing within the last 90 days. They may have died, been impounded, absconded, or who knows what, but the map shows their last location before going MIA. I'm sure the spin doctors at Bird are unhappy about this list of missing Birds, since investors and would be investors can see that 1/3rd of the fleet is missing.
Nashville this morning has 238 Bird scooters listed as missing in the last 90 days. I can assure you that number is much higher. On the same map, Lime has 0 missing scooters. Maybe Lime takes them off the list, I don't know, but I never see anyone riding a boosted Lime, only Birds. The only Limes around are the newer style that is difficult to convert, so that makes a huge difference I'm sure. Have you checked out Birdgraveyard? One video shows people chucking many of them on a bonfire, which I don't agree with at all. That just makes more pollution, like dumping them into waterways. Not cool.
So...…. I don't see how Bird can survive long term. the investors will wise up, and Bird is still putting a lot of ES4's on the street, which are easily converted because they didn't have the foresight to develop a secure custom scooter that was serviceable this summer.
I see a lot of missing Bird scooters in urban areas on the map, mostly inside houses and the projects, and around colleges, which reminds me of another point. I recently read that Bird will start offering discounted scooter rides in "underserved areas", aka black neighborhoods. I think this will add to their losses, but it's a PR play. Lime has a much better reputation for corporate responsibility, so I think Bird is willing to hemorrhage more cash to boost their image, while they try to get the vocal urbanites on their side. It'll help, but many blacks will still distrust them, and rightfully so...…. You don't have to be very savvy to realize Bird could care less about helping poor black people. They just want to lighten their wallets, and get local support when cities get fed up with their sketchy operation. You've probably read stories how some cities are kicking Bird out for not keeping their promises, and why would anyone still want to be a charger for $3 per scooter? Not me...… Bird is "revising their business model", which to me means they are playing the shell game while they desperately try to get more investor money, and they have been very good at doing that, but that seems about the only thing their good at. Well, that and providing the masses with easily converted scooters.
Anyway, I've opined far to long. So what's the situation like in other parts of the country? I'd really like to know more about this stuff. Scootertalk is the only place I've found where we can exchange this information without the Blustering Bird attorneys scaring the moderators into submission. Whoever runs this site has a set of stones, and I think we all owe him or her a debt of gratitude. Courage seems to be in short supply these days.
Best wishes from Hillbillyland,