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Bird's new program lets local operators run their own scooter network

The networks are coming to New Zealand, Canada and Latin America.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
March 7, 2019
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Mike Blake / Reuters

Bird's e-scooters are on their way to Canada, Latin America and New Zealand under a program that allows local business owners to set up their own networks. The company is opening up Bird Platform, which it first announced in November. Operators of the local networks can obtain scooters at cost, allow customers to find the vehicles through the Bird app and take advantage of the company's technology to help manage their business. In exchange, Bird is taking a 20 percent cut of revenue from each ride.

At least five entrepreneurs have joined the program. They can set their own pricing, operating hours and zoning and add their own branding. They're also responsible for maintenance, recharging and getting permits from cities. The program is running in places where Bird didn't plan to set up its own e-scooter networks anytime soon or at all.

The first independent Bird scooter network will arrive in New Zealand next week -- rival company Lime already has scooters in Auckland and Christchurch. The Bird Platform networks will expand to Canada and Latin America in the next few weeks.

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