San Francisco is known for being a huge tech hub and home to the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. It’s also a well-known fact that getting around during rush hour is a pain. An efficient and environmentally friendly way to avoid this is by using electric scooters to get around. The good news is you don’t have to go spending a ton of money buying one, you can just rent one using a service like Bird. Here’s all you need to know to get started. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.

What is Bird?

Bird is an electric scooter rental service. Their mission is to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions by providing people with a safe, affordable, and green alternative to cars. They are available in over one hundred cities across the globe and on the campuses of about a dozen U.S. colleges. Using a Bird scooter in a city like San Francisco is not just a fun alternative to your regular means of transportation, it’s also an efficient way to get around. Just imagine the freedom of being able to zip through traffic jams!

 

But aren’t Bird scooters banned in San Francisco?

Technically they aren’t. In April 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors collectively passed a city law requiring any company operating an electric scooter rental service in San Francisco to have a permit from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). This permit will allow the electric scooter companies to park their scooters on sidewalks and in other public spaces.

The SFMTA called for applications to be made by scooter rental services like Bird to decide whether or not the company would be able to continue to operate in San Francisco. On August 30, 2018, the SFMTA announced that after a thorough review of 12 applications and more than 800 pages of proposals they had received, the agency would offer permits to only two scooter services – Scoot and Skip.  

someone riding a bird scooter

However, this decision hasn’t stopped Bird from making a return to the streets of San Francisco this year. The new Bird rental program manages to avoid these rules, by having renters store their Bird’s scooters in their homes. This means that they will not be available to rent from sidewalks, like in Bird’s other cities. The only time people will see the scooters in public is when users are actively riding them.

 

How does Bird work in San Francisco?

With the new regulation on electric scooters in San Franciso, instead of renting Bird scooters by the minute, you’ll have to rent them by the month. The Bird app allows you to enter all the information you need to get your Bird delivered to you. After your order is placed, a Bird representative will follow up to confirm details and arrange for a personal Bird, charger, and lock to be delivered to your home (or address of choice). When your rental period expires, Bird will come and pick up the vehicle, charger, and lock from your location. For as long as you’re renting, the Bird is yours.

 

How much does it cost?

Customers in San Francisco can rent a Bird for $24.99 a month. The scooters are not currently available but you can join the waitlist on the Bird website.  

 

Are there any alternatives?

Bird isn’t the only scooter rental service available in San Francisco. Scoot and Skip are also very popular alternatives. Unlike with Bird, their electric scooters can be rented by the minute and are available on the sidewalks. They don’t have to be delivered to your home. All you need to do is sign up on their apps, use it to find a scooter, unlock it with your phone and start riding.

Of course, electric scooters aren’t the only efficient transportation options. Companies like Lime also provide electric bikes that are as good for the environment as electric scooters.

 

What if you want to buy one?

Bird scooters are built to last and produce zero carbon emissions. For some people, the option of renting them monthly isn’t enough, and instead, they’d like to own one full-time. The good news is that you can. The bad news is that you can’t get one right this minute. For that, you’ll have to join the waiting list as well.

two people riding bird scooters side by side

Upon arrival in San Francisco, getting settled in an apartment you love should be just as easy as getting a Bird scooter. With Blueground it can be. Browse the wide selection of fully-furnished and equipped apartments that are available for mid to long term stays. Booking online is seamless and stress-free. After checking in to your new move-in ready home, download the Blueground Guest App. The app provides vital neighborhood and building info, and guests can easily request on-demand cleaning and maintenance services.

With Bird, you know that transportation in San Francisco will be a breeze, and now with Blueground finding the ideal accommodation will be too. All you need to do is show up and start living.

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