Electric Scooter Forum for Scooter Enthusiasts, Scooter Chargers, and Scooter Mechanics.

What's happening in the world of dockless transportation
By clayton
Posts
#5701
Well, it looks like Birds financial folly is coming home to roost. Several people on this site have already talked about this crazy business model, which only seems to make a lot of money for upper management. In fact, these articles sound an awful lot like some of the things you folks have been saying. There are so many less Birds around here than there were 2 months ago, it seems somethings up, even though the weather is better now.

https://oversharing.substack.com/p/shar ... -last-long

This news just came out, so I'm sure other reporters will dig into this story. Sure makes me glad I don't work in Birds PR department. It's hard to lie and dodge when the facts are provided by a city.


I think Birds excuse that they are being moved around to different cities is hilarious. They are losing money like a manic gambler, and this reminds me of him coming home and telling his wife the missing money from his wallet was because he made an "investment".

To the BIRD execs: I salute you! What a masterful way to make millions, and the fact that you got Chinese investors to put money in the hole makes it so much sweeter. Well done Sir!

Clayton
Ben J liked this
By Orange
Posts
#5705
clayton wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:42 pm
Well, it looks like Birds financial folly is coming home to roost. Several people on this site have already talked about this crazy business model, which only seems to make a lot of money for upper management. In fact, these articles sound an awful lot like some of the things you folks have been saying. There are so many less Birds around here than there were 2 months ago, it seems somethings up, even though the weather is better now.

https://oversharing.substack.com/p/shar ... -last-long

This news just came out, so I'm sure other reporters will dig into this story. Sure makes me glad I don't work in Birds PR department. It's hard to lie and dodge when the facts are provided by a city.


I think Birds excuse that they are being moved around to different cities is hilarious. They are losing money like a manic gambler, and this reminds me of him coming home and telling his wife the missing money from his wallet was because he made an "investment".

To the BIRD execs: I salute you! What a masterful way to make millions, and the fact that you got Chinese investors to put money in the hole makes it so much sweeter. Well done Sir!

Clayton
Bird struggling isn’t a surprise. They come off like a villain every time they enter a market. No one is rooting for them.

The real question.... “Is the scooter profitability problem specific to Bird or are all scooter companies feeling it?”

@clayton thoughts?
By clayton
Posts
#5712
Well, I'm far from an authority on these things. I agree with you about Bird being seen as a villain. I only have experience with Bird and Lime, but between the two, I think Lime scooters are much better maintained. When looking for a Bird, it's not uncommon to find a large portion of them as unsafe or unrideable. Loose steering posts, broken throttle wiring, flat tires, brakes that don't work, etc (M365). Chargers just keep taking broken birds at night, top them off, then release them in the morning, still broken.


Using the scootermap.com (on charger mode) to look at lime and bird in different cities, there are MUCH less missing Lime scooters, often 0 listed for some cities. However Bird often has hundreds of missing scooters in the cities they serve, and you can see the bounties and how long they've been missing. Bird offers $3 bounty for scooters that are missing for 2 months, and I saw some $13 bounties for scooters missing for 3 months. I can't find any missing for more than 3 months, so all these missing scooters listed went missing within the last 90 days. They may have died, been impounded, absconded, or who knows what, but the map shows their last location before going MIA. I'm sure the spin doctors at Bird are unhappy about this list of missing Birds, since investors and would be investors can see that 1/3rd of the fleet is missing.

Nashville this morning has 238 Bird scooters listed as missing in the last 90 days. I can assure you that number is much higher. On the same map, Lime has 0 missing scooters. Maybe Lime takes them off the list, I don't know, but I never see anyone riding a boosted Lime, only Birds. The only Limes around are the newer style that is difficult to convert, so that makes a huge difference I'm sure. Have you checked out Birdgraveyard? One video shows people chucking many of them on a bonfire, which I don't agree with at all. That just makes more pollution, like dumping them into waterways. Not cool.

So...…. I don't see how Bird can survive long term. the investors will wise up, and Bird is still putting a lot of ES4's on the street, which are easily converted because they didn't have the foresight to develop a secure custom scooter that was serviceable this summer.

I see a lot of missing Bird scooters in urban areas on the map, mostly inside houses and the projects, and around colleges, which reminds me of another point. I recently read that Bird will start offering discounted scooter rides in "underserved areas", aka black neighborhoods. I think this will add to their losses, but it's a PR play. Lime has a much better reputation for corporate responsibility, so I think Bird is willing to hemorrhage more cash to boost their image, while they try to get the vocal urbanites on their side. It'll help, but many blacks will still distrust them, and rightfully so...…. You don't have to be very savvy to realize Bird could care less about helping poor black people. They just want to lighten their wallets, and get local support when cities get fed up with their sketchy operation. You've probably read stories how some cities are kicking Bird out for not keeping their promises, and why would anyone still want to be a charger for $3 per scooter? Not me...… Bird is "revising their business model", which to me means they are playing the shell game while they desperately try to get more investor money, and they have been very good at doing that, but that seems about the only thing their good at. Well, that and providing the masses with easily converted scooters.

Anyway, I've opined far to long. So what's the situation like in other parts of the country? I'd really like to know more about this stuff. Scootertalk is the only place I've found where we can exchange this information without the Blustering Bird attorneys scaring the moderators into submission. Whoever runs this site has a set of stones, and I think we all owe him or her a debt of gratitude. Courage seems to be in short supply these days.


Best wishes from Hillbillyland,

Clayton.
By clayton
Posts
#5714
Almost forgot, check out Atlanta on scootermap. Whats up with that? There sure are a lot of missing birds, but where are the rideable ones? Is Atlanta expecting a blizzard today or something? Hope it's not the Bird scooter rapture as they quietly pull out of cities. It's easy to think scooters will always be available...…….. until their not To view images REGISTER or LOGIN for full access.


Years from now I'll regale my grandkids with stories of the great scooter giveaway (at legal auction prices of course). Oh those were the days...…
Perhaps they will live to see the day when venture capitalists leave jetpacks lying on the street corners. Is that likely??? Well, I try to be an optimist......

Clayton
By clayton
Posts
#5724
In the article link above, a Bird spokesperson says a cause for the apparent lack of scooter longevity is because they get moved to other markets, and that's why individual scooters seem to have a short life based on the data.

The spokesperson should have checked with corporate to see what the story of the day is, since Travis Vanderzanden said this last month-

“Obviously, there is seasonality in the scooters business, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “Yes, it’s slower in December but this market is so big, even in our slow [weeks] most companies would love to have that in their best [month] … We used to say when we’re heading into the holiday season that the Birds would migrate south but it turns out the logistics are really expensive, so the Birds hibernate. That’s a lesson we learned.”

I'm just an old hillbilly, but if I can pick up on this BS, why can't actual journalists, or the investors? Perhaps I'm a super genius, or they're just sloppy. Here's a hint, I aint no super genius!

Lime has a mess on their hands now with all the press about brake malfunctions and injuries. The attorneys are crawling out from under their rocks lured by the smell of fresh benjamins

No comments huh...…. Hard to believe I'm the only one finding this saga interesting.

Clayton
User avatar
By Edwardkat
Posts Avatar
#6376
So, theyve moved from:

Central Square South
Orchard Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 3AZ
United Kingdom

to:

Victoria House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE4 7YJ

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