The Santa Monica-based eScooter rental service Bird is planning a new hub in Paris that will serve as the company’s “second European home.”
The company plans to hire 1,000 people over two years to help spur the growth of its scooter service across the European continent, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a statement to the Financial Times on Thursday (July 11).
“When we launched in Paris nearly a year ago we were blown away by how quickly Parisians took to our service,” VanderZanden said. “The adoption signaled a need and desire for an alternative to cars.”
The company is planning launches in over 50 new cities with its new scooter, Bird Zero, the industry’s first electric scooter designed and engineered specifically for the eScooter sharing industry.
Bird first launched its dockless electric scooter rental business in Paris in August 2018. Since then, its scooters have become a regular sight in the city. The new hub will complement Bird’s service center in Paris.
The number of so-called “trottinettes,” or eScooters, offered for rent in Paris by a dozen companies, Bird included, is forecast to rise from 15,000 to about 40,000 by the end of the year, reports indicate.
Bird is pushing ahead with its expansion plans despite the city’s effort to slow the spread of eScooters, Reuters reported. The lack of regulations surrounding their use and storage has Paris officials imposing a list of fines for infractions like driving on the pavement or parking doorways and crosswalks.
Bird has already rolled out expansion efforts in New Zealand, Canada and Latin America dubbed Bird Platform. The company will sell its vehicles to entrepreneurs at cost and gets 20 percent of the ride revenue. Its European headquarters is located in Amsterdam.
Entrepreneurs using the Bird platform are responsible for recharging and maintaining the scooters, as well as getting the proper city permits.