5 amazing things your should know about bird scooters in DC

Want to know more about bird scooters in DC? Here’s everything Your should know about electric scooters and their alternatives.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

Two women riding electric scooters

In a city like DC dashing from work to home doesn’t have to involve sitting in hours of traffic and fumes. You could get from your yoga class to your favorite restaurant in minutes with an electric scooter. The best part is that you don’t even need to buy one. You can rent one in a minute with a Bird scooter available in D.C. Or other electric scooter rental services.

What are electric scooters?

Electric scooters are a fun, technologically advanced form of the traditional kick scooters we used as kids.

While those scooters make use of a kick-push technology to get you moving, with electric scooters you put both feet on the scooter and get moving with just the push of a button.

Unlike with cars and motorcycles, you don’t need a license to ride electric scooters.

However, in most states, you do need to be at least 18 years old and above to ride one.

How does Bird work?

All you need to get moving with Bird is to register and download the app. Find a Bird near you and use the app to unlock your scooter. Stand on your Bird, push-off, then push the throttle button with your thumb to start riding. It’s advisable to bring a helmet along with you so you can stay safe while riding.

It’s also the law. All you need to do to end the ride is to hit the ‘end ride’ button within the app.

To slow down use the brake on the left handle. After the ride is ended you’ll be conveniently charged automatically for your trip.

Because they need to be charged, bird scooters aren’t available to riders 24/7. They operate between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week.

While you can ride scooters in bike lanes, you are prohibited from riding them on sidewalks downtown according to city law.

All in all, you can ride your scooter outside of Bird’s operating area in the city.

But you can’t leave your scooter outside of the operating area unless you’ll be charged a fee. You can see the operating area for your scooter when you install the Bird app.

Using Blueground to find an apartment in D.C. is just as convenient as how Bird works. With Blueground you get to choose from an array of beautifully furnished apartments ideally located in the most vibrant neighborhoods in D.C. The apartments are located in close proximity to public transit which includes Bird docks and in neighborhoods with great cultural offerings.

How much does it cost?

Renting a Bird scooter in D.C. costs $1 to unlock it and $0.15 for every minute you ride it. All payments are handled through the Bird app.

When you sign up you put in your credit card information, after you complete a trip the amount is automatically removed from your account. Bird scooters are required to be returned within 24 hours when you are done with them.

If you fail to do this, you are charged $25. Scooters not returned within 48 hours are considered lost or stolen by Bird.

When this happens you could be charged up to $500.

You could make money too

Whenever you pick up a Bird scooter they are usually all charged up and ready to go. This doesn’t happen magically. Bird Chargers living in D.C. charge scooters overnight. You could be one of them and make money while doing so.

All you need to do is use the app to find scooters that need charging around the city, pick them up, and then take them home and charge them overnight.

Above all, you get paid per scooter when you drop them off the next morning. Chargers have their own version of the app which is similar to the rider’s version. They have a similar map that shows them where to find scooters that need to be charged.

a bird scooter station on a sidewalk

Each scooter shows up as a colored symbol on the Charger’s map.

And each color indicates how much the Bird is worth, based on how difficult it is to capture. Birds behind fences or hidden away in the bushes on private property are worth more money than those that are easy to find.

All you need to do as a Charger is unlock the scooters put them in your car, and take them home to charge.

Chargers get a message in the morning telling them where to take the scooters.

The drop-off locations are called ‘Nests’. The scooters have to be returned by 7:00 a.m. so that they’re ready for commuters. You can’t drop them off too early. Bird rules state that there are no drop-offs between 5:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

Are electric scooters safe?

According to research riding an electric scooter is just as safe as riding a bicycle. The top speed of the average electric scooter is 20 miles per hour.

However, you should take certain safety measures when riding them.

  • Wear protective gear like a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads
  • Take time to learn how to operate your electric scooter before riding in public
  • Don’t try out any risky tricks and stunts with your scooters
  • Keep your eyes on the road and limit distractions
  • Make sure you get a scooter that is right for your size and weight

Are there any alternatives to Bird scooters?

There are a number of alternative scooter rental services operating in D.C. Lime and Spike are great alternatives to Bird scooters if you are looking to rent safe and reliable electric scooters.

Electric scooters are also not your only eco-friendly and fun transport alternative, electric bikes are also a great option.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.