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Assemblymember Gloria, Bird unveil new public safety enhancements for dockless electric scooters

“Safety is our top priority and we are committed to advancing the well-being of our riders and the communities we serve."
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons - Stock photo

California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward, representatives from the dockless electric scooter sharing service Bird, and Circulate San Diego came together on Tuesday to unveil Bird’s “GovTech” platform – a comprehensive set of technologies to better enable the City of San Diego to manage the electric scooters and promote greater public safety.

The announcement comes in response community concerns raised to Assemblymember Gloria and Councilmember Ward, and after months of discussions between their offices and Bird.

“Bird and dockless sharing technologies like it represent the future of transportation and are giving San Diegans a viable alternative to cars to get around our city,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “After engaging in conversations with my constituents, I believe we can do more right now at the local level to not only incorporate and keep pace with this technology, but ensure we preserve public safety at the highest level. That’s why I’m proud to work in partnership with Bird to bring these public safety enhancements forward.” 

“Technology made this transportation option possible, and technology can, and must, make the system safer,” said San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward. “The City of San Diego, working with residents and scooter-sharing platforms like BIRD, is poised to do more to support mobility options while reclaiming our sidewalks and protecting the safety of user and residents.”

Bird’s GovTech platform provides initial products such as:

Flight Control Dashboard: a comprehensive, customized information system for the City of San Diego to receive insights into Bird usage such as vehicle status and trip data.

Geo-fencing: allowing the city to create virtual perimeters and enforce “no ride” and “no parking” zones. This will ensure Bird scooter riders do not ride in areas they should not, as determined by the city. Geo-fencing can also alert riders on where to find designated parking zones.

Community Mode: using the Bird app, anyone will have the ability to report directly to Bird any incidents of unsafe riding, riding on sidewalks, or poor parking. Reports then help Bird flag riders’ policy violations and enable the company to take any actions necessary against repeat offenders.

Rider Education: prominent, customizable messages that will be prompted at the beginning of every ride to educate riders about local rules and safe riding practices. The City will be able to request particular, everyday messages such as “no sidewalk riding” as well as date-specific messaging for things such as holidays and events.

“At Bird, we are obsessed with safety,” said Lys Mendez, senior manager of government partnerships at Bird. “Safety is our top priority and we are committed to advancing the well-being of our riders and the communities we serve. San Diego has been, and continues to be, a close partner as we integrate our affordable, environmentally friendly vehicles into the fabric of the city. We are grateful for the leadership of Assemblymember Gloria and Councilmember Ward as we work together to help San Diego embrace smart, sustainable transportation solutions for its residents.

Assemblymember Gloria is the Majority Whip of the California State Assembly and represents the 78th Assembly District which includes the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, and Solana Beach.