by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
As cities like Raleigh grapple with how to react to the e-scooter revolution, at least one of the major scooter operators is already extending its business model by offering the chance to become a scooter entrepreneur. smartcitiesdive.com has the details:
Bird will now let individuals manage and rent out their own fleets of electric scooters through the Bird Platform program, launching in December. Operators will be able to brand the scooters and use Bird’s charging and maintenance infrastructure.
Operators will have to pay an up-front cost for the vehicles and permitting, and pay a 20% service fee on every ride, but otherwise can collect any revenue.
CEO Travis VanderZanden told TechCrunch that there were already 300 parties on a waiting list for the program, which will initially focus on cities where scooters are already popular and regulations are more relaxed.
What’s important now is that cities resist the temptation to regulate scooter companies out of existence. We can come to a reasonable balance between safety and business freedom. Let’s not shut down this opportunity for those who want to compete in the evolving on-demand transportation field. Let’s encourage it.