By: Michael Maher

Who here has ever been in a hurry? I know I have, several times actually. A more recent time was during my job training here on campus in the hot days of August. I had to run to my car after breakfast which was parked on the far north end of campus. I only had 5 minutes to get to Winther Hall after that which was at least a 10 minute walk. That math doesn’t add up. I felt the panic of being late sink in, until a gleaming solution appeared in front of my eyes. The Bird scooter. Let me tell you, it’s hard to find a better feeling on a hot August morning than passing your group walking on the sidewalk while you’re cruising down the road on your Bird scooter. I didn’t just make it on time to Winther, but I showed up in style.

By now, you’ve probably seen the gray and blue striped Bird scooters around UW-Whitewater’s campus. They are usually parked right outside different academic or residence hall buildings. Chances are you’ve seen people riding them to get to places on campus, but have you considered it as a transportation option yourself? Below is everything you need to know about using the Bird scooters on campus.

Bird Scooter App
Your first step to successfully using the Bird scooters will be downloading the Bird scooter app. You can download the app on either the Apple App store or Google Play store. From the app, you can find Bird scooters that are available for riding in your area, start your ride, manage your payment method, and find helpful tutorials and information to assist with your ride.

Finding A Scooter
Once you have the app downloaded, you”ll want to locate an available scooter near your location for riding. Utilizing the app, you’ll see which scooters are available in your area when a white circle icon appears in the scooter’s location relevant to yours. This icon also indicates the scooter’s battery level with a light blue bar.

Starting A Scooter
When you’ve located an available scooter, your next step is getting it started. This is where you’ll want to have the app ready. To start a scooter, open the Bird scooter app and select the blue circle icon towards the bottom part of the home screen. You’ll next scan the QR code on the scooter with your mobile device and the scooter will be “activated”. You also have the option of entering a 4-5 digit code located on the handlebar of the scooter if the scanning feature doesn’t work. Your Bird scooter should now be ready to ride.

Riding the Bird Scooter
To start riding, you’ll want to push off with your preferred foot and then push the lever down near the handlebars. The lever acts as the “gas pedal” on the scooters. To stop or slow down the scooter, squeeze the brakes near the handlebars with your hands. When riding, it’s best to stay in the bike lanes if provided and off the sidewalks to stay clear of pedestrians. A quick note, some areas for riding are considered “slow zones”. This means that if you attempt to ride in them, your scooter will slow down and not allow you to accelerate. It’s important to pay attention to the app and see which areas are approved for riding normally.

For best safety practices, it’s best to wear a helmet at all times while riding the scooter. You should also make sure to follow all local traffic laws.

When you are all done riding your Bird scooter, you’ll want to make sure you park it the right way. To do this, make sure to “end your ride” on the app first. Make sure that you are parking in a location that is allowed through the app. Certain areas for parking are blocked off for safety. The app will notify you if you cannot park in a certain area. Once you have found an approved spot to park, kick the kickstand into place and take a picture of the scooter parked through the app. Once this is all completed, you have successfully parked your Bird scooter.

Now what you’ve all been waiting for, how much does it cost to ride a Bird scooter? Well, that all depends on a variety of factors including how much time the ride lasts and how many rides you purchase at a time. Below is a helpful guide that will assist with finding out how much it’ll cost for you to ride.

Basic Rate: $1 to start and $0.42/minute (plus tax) + $0.25 compliance fee

Ride Pass:

Monthly Pass
20% Off Rides: $4.99
Enjoy 20% off all rides for 30 days

‘5 for $5’
Fly for less when you buy 5 rides at $5 each!

30-Min Pass
Fly for less when you buy a single ride pass!

60-Min Pass
Take the scenic route when you buy a single ride pass!

*Pricing subject to change