Bend residents and visitors will soon have a new option for getting around town: e-bikes and e-scooters for rent.
Bird, an electric transportation company, is entering a two-year pilot program. While the company already offers e-scooter services in other Oregon cities, Bend is the first where it will offer e-bikes.
“Bend is a natural fit for this eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered car trips,” said Bird spokesperson Lily Gordon.
How do you rent a Bird e-bike or e-scooter?
To rent the Bird bikes and scooters, users need to download the Bird app. The app will have a real-time map of where all the bikes and scooters are located so the user can find the one closest to them.
The renter then will scan a QR code on the bike to unlock it. It costs $1 to unlock and the renter is charged per-minute until the bike is dropped off.
Gordon said the per-minute price will be set by Bird and will vary from time-to-time, but not by much. The app will tell users what that price will be.
Once it’s dropped off, the renter must take a photo to confirm the vehicle is parked and out of the right of way.
Who will be maintaining the bikes and scooters?
Local entrepreneurs and businesses will partner with Bird to make sure the bikes and scooters are charged. Gordon said a “local logistics partner” will also ensure the vehicles are spread out in case most or all of them end up parked in one area, such as downtown.
The e-bikes have a range of 50 miles on a single battery charge, Gordon said. They offer an electric assist to help riders go up hills of up to a 20% grade. They also have geofence technology that will stop or slow the motor in designated areas.
Bird will start its Bend program with the e-bikes and add e-scooters later. Gordon said the number of vehicles available may increase based on demand.