“Bird Hunting” – a profitable pastime

That’s right. We don’t suggest hunting your neighborhood feathered friends.

❝ Bird is a scooter-sharing company that launched in 2017 and has been dubbed the “Uber of scooters.” Its goal is to alleviate congestion and allow people an easy way to travel quickly for short distances of just a few miles. Riders can locate and unlock scooters using the company’s smartphone app, and after paying the $1 unlocking fee are charged 15 cents per minute during use.

Birds are available in a growing number of American cities including Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; Washington D.C.; and Atlanta. The scooters are all battery-powered and dockless, so they can be picked up or dropped off anywhere.

❝ But when night falls, what most riders don’t realize is that the scooters themselves are charged by a contract workforce. These people are known as “Bird hunters” or “chargers,” and they’re growing exponentially in number.

You don’t punch a time-card. Probably don’t need an alarm clock to tell you when to get to work. Not a bad gig.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

4 thoughts on ““Bird Hunting” – a profitable pastime

  1. Aux barricades! says:

    Several tech buses, ones headed for Google and Apple campuses, were blockaded Thursday morning by demonstrators protesting the “techsploitation” of San Francisco.
    A group of activists stacked piles of electric scooters—a rent-by-the-minute ridesharing trend popularized by three startups—in the middle of an intersection in the Mission neighborhood. To many San Francisco residents, the ubiquitous scooters symbolize the tech industry’s disruptive presence in their city. One organizer told me the scooters were collected this morning, but said they couldn’t share more.
    “Fucking scooters all over our city,” a Coalition on Homelessness representative said. “They’re more willing to sweep people off our streets than an electric scooter.” https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3k4v9k/techsploitation-demonstrators-blocked-google-and-apple-buses-with-scooters Ever since transportation startups—Bird, Spin, and Lime—launched in San Francisco, sidewalks have been covered in scooters. Proponents say they’re a public benefit, but others claim they’re a nuisance, and that resources should instead go toward enhancing public transportation. Bird is reportedly valued at $1 billion. The city recently ordered all scooters off the street by June 4, and is requiring these companies to apply for permits. Activists claim that codifying their use will only encourage more exploitation and privatization of San Francisco’s resources.

  2. Update says:

    (Aug 30, 2018) Today, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced which scooter startups will receive special operating permits, after citizens opposed their tactics, likening them to a sidewalk plague, and claiming they posed a threat to pedestrian safety.
    Of at least twelve companies that applied to the 12-month pilot program, only Scoot and Skip were granted permission by the city. Skip claimed to be “the first permitted system operating anywhere,” co-founder and CEO Sanjay Dastoor told Techcrunch in May, having partnered with Washington, DC at the time.
    Today’s ruling is a giant middle-finger to Uber, Lyft, Bird, and others who did not receive permits. A spokesperson for SFMTA told the San Francisco Examiner that its decision marks “the next chapter in the shared mobility story,” and that it expects “private operators will act in the public interest, that’s what the permit process is all about.” https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9kmpm3/san-francisco-denies-scooter-permits-to-uber-lyft-bird-and-others

  3. Multi-Modal says:

    “Can cities ban e-scooters in the name of public safety? Bird says no way : Startup dubs swift July vote on prohibition: “a hasty and deceptive proceeding.” (Ars Technica) https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/11/bird-sues-beverly-hills-argues-it-cant-ban-e-scooters-even-for-6-months/
    “Bird sues Beverly Hills over its ban of motorized scooters” (LA Times) http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-bird-beverly-hills-20181101-story.html

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