Bird rolls out half-off e-scooter rides for low-income residents, vets, and seniors

Riding scooters on Lake Street. Photo: John Greenfield
Riding scooters on Lake Street. Photo: John Greenfield

Update Friday 10/17/20, 10:45 AM: After the publication of this article, Lime spokesman Russell Murphy wrote Streetsblog: “Beyond our Lime Access program, Lime also offers half-priced rides for all trips starting or ending in one of the City’s designated equity zones, as detailed here. This has been active since the start of the 2nd pilot. Riders using Lime scooters in these areas do not need to sign up for any program to take advantage of this reduced pricing. This program is entirely unique to Chicago and we do not have it active anywhere else in the world. “

Last month, data on Chicago’s second scooter pilot released released by the city indicated that the “lock-to” rule is resulting in fewer issues with sidewalk clutter and vandalism, and showed that daily deployment to the South and West Side Priority Areas, which typically have less transit service than the North Side, is near the 50 percent goal. There was some more good news for scooter equity yesterday as Bird, one of the three vendors along with Lime and Spin, announced a half-off rides program for low-income Chicagoans, veterans, and senior citizens, and other groups.

Bird has already offered two free 30-minute rides per day for healthcare professionals during the entire pandemic, and teachers during September in cities across the country. The new Community Pricing Program offers 50 percent discount to low-income residents, Pell Grant recipients, certain local nonprofit and community organizations, vets, and seniors.

“In a world of distance and uncertainty, the ability to move safely, sustainable and affordably becomes more important than ever,” said Rebecca Hahn, Bird’s chief corporate social responsibility officer in a statement. “We hope that our new, expanded Community Pricing Program will not only bring greater transportation access to those impacted by recent strains on public transit, but that it will also be a small source of reliability and assurance for people during a year that has been anything but.”

To sign up for the Community Pricing Program, follow these three steps:

Allow 2-3 business days for them to approve your submission.

Meanwhile Lime, offers the Lime Access program, which provides provides discounted fares to qualifying riders in the United States, and access to  scooters for people without smartphones or credit cards. To qualify, you must demonstrate participation in a local, state or federal public benefits program. In general the program provides a discount of 70 percent or more on scooter rides.

The Spin Access program is also designed makes the scooters accessible to people without smartphones, mobile location services, or credit cards. Discounted rides for also available for qualifying residents. You can sign up in person at Spin’s Pilsen office, 1936 W. 17th St. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.

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