NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Bird, a leader in environmentally friendly electric transportation, today announced it will launch its service in New York City as part of the NYC DOT's pilot e-scooter program on Tuesday, August 17th.
Through this program, which featured a competitive and rigorous vetting process, Bird is launching 1,000 of its new Bird Three vehicles in the Bronx. This expansion into the most populous city in the United States follows Bird's 300th city launch and the announcement of its intention to enter the public markets through a definitive agreement with Switchback II Corporation (NYSE: SWBK).
Bird's entry into the city comes as part of New York City's first ever shared e-scooter adoption efforts. Mandated by city council legislation passed in June 2020 and through the support of Councilmember Cabrera, the first phase of the New York City Department of Transportation's e-scooter pilot program brings 3,000 shared electric vehicles to the Bronx. Focused on improving transportation equity, the program is designed to test the use of these vehicles in the city and collect relevant insights, as well as focus on providing the area with affordable and sustainable transportation options.
Bird was selected based on the criteria of past performance in other cities, accessibility options, familiarity with the metro area, rider safety features, and more. Of a narrowed list of about a dozen applicants, New York City selected only three operators, including Bird, for its pilot program. As the first to launch a shared e-scooter program in 2017, and the first e-scooter provider to launch in New York State when it entered Yonkers in 2020, Bird's experience and ties to the community played a key factor in its selection.
With an aligned commitment to rider and community safety, Bird is partnering with NYC DOT to provide residents and visitors to the City access to the Bird Three, the industry's most eco-conscious e-scooter which features key benefits including smart accelerating technology to comply with local speed limits, real time monitoring and diagnostics to ensure superior vehicle function, and more. In addition to its commitment to rider and community safety, Bird is further ensuring its equitable contributions to the area by partnering with the Fortune Society – a local non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the successful reentry into society and employment of formerly incarcerated persons – to hire 25 individuals to help manage and support its local fleets.
"The traffic, congestion and unacceptable road safety statistics in large cities were a driving factor in founding Bird. If we replace gas-powered car trips in communities with eco-friendly vehicles such as scooters and bikes, communities benefit from less congestion, safer streets and reduced carbon emissions," said Travis VanderZanden, Bird founder and CEO. "Through our collaboration with local legislators, community groups and the NYC DOT, we are working to eliminate transit deserts and provide the foundation for the citywide implementation of these environmentally friendly transportation alternatives."
Bird is an electric vehicle company dedicated to bringing affordable, environmentally friendly transportation solutions such as e-scooters and e-bikes to communities across the world. Today, it provides fleets of shared micro electric vehicles to riders in more than 300 cities globally and makes its products available for purchase at www.bird.co and via leading retailers and distribution partners. Bird partners closely with the cities in which it operates to provide a reliable and affordable transportation option for people who live and work there. Founded in 2017 by transportation pioneer Travis VanderZanden, Bird is rapidly expanding.
About Switchback II Corporation:
Switchback II Corporation was formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, amalgamation, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. Switchback focused its search for a target business in the broad energy transition or sustainability arena targeting industries that require innovative solutions to decarbonize in order to meet critical emission reduction objectives.
SOURCE Switchback II Corporation