Bird becomes newest e-scooter service for Tacoma

Bird is introducing its e-scooters this weekend in Tacoma as part of a 60-day trial.
Bird is introducing its e-scooters this weekend in Tacoma as part of a 60-day trial.

Look out, Tacoma pedestrians, another electric scooter service is trying out in Tacoma.

Bird, which applied through the city’s 60-day pilot trial in September, has made it through the permit phase and plans to start operations Saturday (Oct. 13), according to the city’s Public Works and a Friday announcement from Bird.

“After only one year of operations, we recently celebrated 10 million rides on Bird scooters across 100 communities, and we are excited to continue that growth in Tacoma,” the company said in the release.

Bird, founded last fall, is competing with other e-scooter/bike-share companies such as Lime as the popularity of using public e-scooters has taken off. Lime started its Tacoma pilot program in September.

Bird’s system operates about the same way as Lime’s through a downloadable app.

It e-scooters can go a maximum of 15 miles per hour, and can run about 15 miles on a single charge. They will be available during the day, starting at 7 a.m. They will be found at their “nests,” the company says, typically in clusters of three scattered across the city.

Riders can apply for free helmets through Bird’s app.

The company is making 200 e-scooters available initially in Tacoma, expanding to 250.

Bird also promises to not flood the city with its scooters.

“We will not increase our supply of vehicles in a city unless they are being used at least three times per vehicle per day (weather permitting),” the company said. “We will remove underutilized vehicles.”

As with Lime, you can give the city feedback about Bird’s program to TacomaFIRST 311 through 311’s web portal or mobile app. You also can call TacomaFIRST 311 by dialing 311 from within the city or 253-591-5000 from outside.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell