7/11/2019

Bird Makes Paris Its Top E-Scooter Hub in Europe

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Bird Rides, Inc., the Los Angeles-based electric-scooter sharing service, says it will make Paris its largest hub in Europe.

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Bird Rides, Inc., the Los Angeles-based electric-scooter sharing service, says it will make Paris its largest hub in Europe.

The company, whose European headquarters are in Amsterdam, aims to expand into 50 new European cities this year. Bird already uses Paris as repair center for the e-scooters it deploys in Europe.

Bird began its rental service in Paris last autumn. The company says it will add about 1,000 people to its Paris staff over the next two years.

A dozen such startups currently complete for riders in Paris, according to the Financial Times. It says 15,000 e-scooters are currently in use across Europe, and the number is expected to soar to 40,000 by the end of this year.

Paris, like many other cities, has mixed feelings about e-scooters. Proponents say the scooters reduce traffic congestion and contribute to cleaner urban air. But many agree with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo that the unregulated scooters create “anarchy” for pedestrians.

Cities are struggling to decide whether to impose rules for helmet use, ban scooters from pedestrian walkways and/or regulate how and where they may be abandoned by their users.