Bird Scooters come to Hermiston

A group of four Bird e-scooters sits parked along East Main Street in Hermiston on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

Hermiston residents have a new transportation option with the arrival of Bird Scooters.

The company provides electric scooters, which people can locate around town using a mobile app and rent for a per-minute fee. According to Jasmine Wallsmith, a marketing and communications director for the company, the company is launching with 75 scooters in Hermiston.

“Shared scooters can be a terrific choice to navigate the fairly short distances between some of the large employment hubs or recreation areas within Hermiston and the commercial district,” she said in an email.

The company touts the scooters as a convenient, socially distanced “micro mobility” option that can reduce traffic and greenhouse emissions compared to automobile use. Some cities have created ordinances to bar them from operating locally, however, citing concerns about safety and scooters being left in unwanted places.

To access the scooters, people must download the Bird Scooters mobile app, sign up for the service and enter their payment information. After that is complete, they can find where scooters are currently located, reserve one and start and end their ride, which the scooter’s rules state must stay off of sidewalks and follow traffic laws.

In order to end their ride time, riders are asked upload a photo of the scooter properly parked in a safe place. Wallsmith said the company pays “local fleet managers” to move the scooters around during operating hours so that they can be accessed throughout the city.

She said the scooters have a “warm up mode” with more gentle acceleration for new riders. The company also offers a 50% discount to certain groups, including low-income riders, senior citizens, Pell grant recipients, veterans and some nonprofits.

During the pandemic, health care workers and emergency responders can ride up to an hour per day for free if they sign up by emailing their credentials to together@bird.co.

For questions or concerns, call 1-866-205-2442, email hello@bird.co. or visit www.bird.co. More information about the company can be found on their website (www.bird.co) and on their blog (bird.co/blog).

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