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Scooter-pocalypse enters new era with Bird’s non-pyramid scheme

(BUSINESS NEWS) If you thought the era of electric scooters littering your sidewalk was over, ’tis just beginning.

bird scooters

If you thought you were safe from the scooter-pocalypse just because you live in a suburb, small city, (or even a town!), we’ve got some bad news. The scooters are not just arriving in the night near bustling metropolises anymore. Soon, they will come to you.

Rental scooter company Bird has announced that it will wants to sell fleets of scooters and chargers to entrepreneurs and small business owners in exchange for 20 percent of the profits those rentals earn. These independent operators would then effectively run the scooter scene for the company in their areas.

The company says that this program was created in response to requests from businesses in smaller cities that wanted to offer more transportation options that got cars off the road.

In some places, this could be a good idea. Rental scooters will likely be popular in college towns where they can scoot students across large campuses with ease (students will enjoy declaring their love of the machines “ironic”) as well as seasonal tourist areas in rural locales (the wheels are a-comin’ Jackson Hole) that experience a lot of foot traffic in downtown areas.

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However, it’s hard to imagine a thriving scooterist community in economically depressed or sparsely populated rural locales.

The scooter industry is notoriously poorly regulated in addition to its enthusiasts being kind of annoying and shady, so there’s nothing to say these independent operators are going to be more fastidious about keeping their products out of the gutters or ensuring that users follow traffic laws.

It will be interesting to see if these operators and their speculating lead to greater reach for the companies they are working for – and whether those companies will allow them to keep the market for themselves if demand proves to be high.

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AprilJo Murphy is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. She is a writer, editor, and sometimes teacher based in Austin, TX who enjoys getting outdoors with her handsome dog, Roan.

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