Mass. Residents Say Hello to Bird, Bye Bye to Ofo

Two major announcements from Californian electric scooter startup Bird and Chinese bike-sharing startup Ofo impacted Massachusetts this week.

NBC Bay Area
A screenshot taken on Friday from the Bird app shows that Bird scooters are now available in Somerville and Cambridge, but not in Boston. Photo by BostInno.

Ofo abruptly decided to shut down all but a few of its U.S. operations, including its programs in Quincy, Revere and Worcester.

On Friday, Bird began offering its fleet of dockless, electric scooters in neighborhoods throughout the Cambridge and Somerville areas, as part of an under-the-radar launch that was spotted on Friday by local reporters.

Bird said it will adjust the number of scooters and areas they’re available based on rider demand. Currently, if you check the availability of Bird scooters on the app, Boston doesn’t offer any ride or park zones.

“The region recognizes the need for an accessible and reliable transit system. We are excited to bring our affordable, transportation option to the people and local communities,” a Bird spokesperson wrote in an email. “Birds are perfect for those ‘last mile’ trips that are too long to walk, but too short to drive.”

Riders can locate the most convenient Bird through the Bird smartphone app. Bird costs $1 to start each ride plus $0.15 cents per minute following.

Since launching in September of 2017, Bird riders have logged more than a million rides. Currently, Bird scooters are available in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Nashville, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and other U.S. cities.

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