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Bird, an electric scooter services founded in 2017, is another player in the shared mobility space. However, unlike Uber and Lyft that connect riders to drivers, Bird connects electric scooters to riders. Nonetheless, they do have plenty of commonalities as they operate under more or less the same principle and practices.
One of the parallels between ride-sharing apps and the Bird is the gig opportunities it provides people. Bird provides able-bodied workers the opportunity to charge their electric scooters, and therefore, earn money from their efforts. People who go for this gigs are known as ‘Chargers’. Therefore, the answer to the question as to who charges the Bird scooters is the Chargers contracted by the company.
However, it is just a matter of picking any Bird scooters and charging them, there is an intricate process involved. Herein we will explore what it takes to be a charger and the process involved in charging the scooters as well.
Becoming A Bird Charger: Requirements
To become a charger, you need to meet certain requirements. These include:
#1. You must 18 years and above,
#2. You must a have a car (to carry the scooters),
#3. You must be able to charge a minimum of 3 scooters at a time,
#4. You must live within or near Bird’s service areas.
Becoming a Bird Charger: The Application process
Typically, signing up to be a Bird Charger follows the same process of other ride-sharing apps. You typically sign up to be a Bird user, where you rent the scooter for $1 and $0.15 per minute. After some period of using Bird scooter renting services, users get a ‘Become a Charger’ button very similar in appearance to the button Uber uses asking passengers to sign up for driving gigs.
Once you click the button, you are redirected to the sign-up form. The application process requires that you fill pretty standard information such as personal information, bank account information, and tax information. The bank account information is important as they send payment directly to your bank account.
After completing the application form, prospective Chargers are called by are Bird vetting representative. As this stage, they vet you to ensure that you are up to the task and you are ready to work. To this end, they ask questions such as things you love about Birds, the type of car that you have, and the number of scooters that you think you will be able to charge per night.
In many regards, this part of the application process is a complete departure from what Uber and Lyft do. While the ride-sharing apps opt for the vetting process that encourages people to sign up to drive on their platform, Bird is more interested in working with individuals ready and willing to offer the best service possible in as far as charging Birds is concerned.
Finding, Capturing, Charging And Releasing The Birds
To find birds that have been marked for charging. On the Bird app, you simply toggle to Charger mode. This gives you access to the location of birds that require charging. While you can capture Birds during the day, generally Bird tends to release the scooters for capture at 9 pm or 10 pm in some service areas. The released birds are color-coded depending on their ease of capture. The scooter marked green are easy to find and hence pay the least amount. The yellow marked birds are relatively difficult to find and they attract a medium payout. The red marked birds are the hardest to find, and, therefore, they attract the highest payout.
To ‘Capture Birds’, all you need to do is to scan the QR code found on the handlebar of the scooter. Alternatively, you can enter the 4-digit code. Once you have captured a Bird, it details can be found on the Bird app. There you will see the Bird ID, it battery percentage, and the current status.
When it comes to charging the scooters, it is a straightforward endeavor. You simply connect them to the charger provided by Bird after the application process. It will take about 3-5 hours to charge fully.
With regards to releasing the Bird back into the wild, it should be done between 4 am and 7 am. They should be released is set of three for every nest. The app also provides viable locations for you to release the birds, thereby making it easier for you.
Payment For Charging
Chargers are paid for every Bird that the pick-up, charge, and release back to the wild. For the most part, chargers are paid $5. However, some Bird will attract a higher payment depending on difficult it is to find, charge and or release. It is important to note that payment is typically made every day directly to your bank account.
The Cost Of Charging
The cost if charging the scooter is quite small. In many, it cost less than 10 cents of electricity to charge the scooters.