Bird to fund bike lanes: own gain or public good?

This article was posted on 6 August 2018

Bird to fund bike lanes: own gain or public good?

Bird, the e-Scooter company, is taking public infrastructure under its wing.

The firm launched a fund that will be spent on protected bike lanes in the cities it operates in.

The Global Safety Advisory Board is part of Bird's Save Our Sidewalks (S.O.S.) pledge.

The company promises to put $1 per scooter per day into the fund.

In Portland, Oregon, the fund would receive around $21k per month or $252k per year.

Portland's scooter numbers being capped at 2.5k, with Bird only having deployed 700.

Hey, what if this is a PR stunt?

Sure, for its efforts Bird could be welcomed in more cities with open arms.

Portland Bicycle Lane Design Guide says the cheapest mile of protected lanes costs $70k.

At this stage, Bird’s commitment would only fund ±3.6miles of Portland’s bike lanes per year.

To secure more funding and lead the board the firm appointed David Strickland...

...a former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Combining this fund with tax can bring more money for these much-needed cycle lanes.

Portland already taxes Brid’s 700 e-Scooters at 25 cents per ride.

With 4 rides per scooter per day, this would amount to an earning of an additional $100k per year.

Is it really up to private companies to help fix the half-baked cycling infrastructure?