SANTA ROSA, CA — The City of Santa Rosa on Thursday announced the launch of a one-year electric scooter-share pilot program with Bird, an environmentally friendly electric transportation option.
Starting Friday, July 1, Bird will deploy 100 electric Bird Three scooters in the areas around Downtown/Railroad Square, Santa Rosa Junior College, Roseland, and Montgomery Village, city officials said in a news release. To ensure a smooth launch, Bird will release a second migration of the remaining 100 electric scooters on July 22.
Bird was the lone operator awarded a one-year permit through the City’s Scooter Share Pilot Program following a competitive application process. The Pilot Program was approved by Council in December 2021 as part of the City’s efforts to improve mobility options, reduce traffic congestion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. During this one-year pilot programme, Bird is the only scooter-share system permitted to operate within the city of Santa Rosa.
Scooter share has emerged in recent years as a popular transportation option, especially in downtown areas, among visitors, for a quick errand, and in tandem with transit to bridge “first- and last-mile” connections.
Scooter speeds are limited to 15 mph and prohibited from being ridden on sidewalks, in accordance with state law. They are also equipped with geofencing technology that detects when a scooter enters a designated “slow zone” or “no-ride zone” and decreases the scooter’s speed accordingly. Designated areas include those with high pedestrian activity, such as Old Courthouse Square.
“The City and Bird are committed to ensuring that scooters do not impede sidewalk accessibility,” city officials said. “Scooters must be locked in an upright position to a fixed object, such as a bike rack or street sign.”
Community members can report any issues by emailing email@example.com or calling 1-866-205-2440.
Discounted Pricing, Alternative Payment Methods, Accessible Scooters
Equity is central to Santa Rosa’s Pilot Program requirements to ensure as many people as possible have access to Bird’s scooters, city officials said.
Bird offers qualifying groups such as veterans, students, teachers, senior citizens, and low-income people 50 percent off rides.
For people who do not have a smartphone and/or a credit card, Bird offers alternative payment methods such as the ability to load cash onto one’s Bird account at participating retailers. Alternative payment methods are outlined here and here.
Using Bird’s Accessible Mobility Program, people can rent seated scooters at a subsidized price for up to 14 days using the methods outlined here.
Scooters can be located and rented through Bird’s mobile application, which is available for download on Apple and Android.
Bird currently operates in several other California cities, including Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Richmond, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Monica.