A startup called Bird is betting that dockless electric scooters will improve transportation and lessen the need for car ownership. The concept is spreading so quickly that Bird has been deemed the "Uber of electric scooters."
Here's how it works:
* Find a scooter (or "Bird") near you with Bird's mobile app
* Scan the scooter's QR code to book a ride
* Hop on and ride (top speed is 15 miles per hour)
* Leave the scooter at your destination so the next rider can find it
Every night, people called "Chargers" collect the scooters to recharge their batteries and make any necessary repairs. Bird launched last year in Southern California and recently expanded to San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington, DC.
The team at Bird uses Textline's business text messaging to recruit and communicate with their flock of Chargers -- texting them about repairs, charging, and the location of scooters. Before last month's LA Marathon, Bird sent an SMS announcement to 1,000+ Chargers to remind them to respect the runners and make sure no scooters were blocking the course.
According to Bird's Chief Technical Officer, Justin Balthrop, "As a hard core nerd, I was tempted to build my own app for communicating with our teams out in the field. But Textline already had so many of the features that we needed. It's a great software tool and they keep adding new features all the time!"
Your business could use text messaging to recruit staffers and communicate with colleagues out in the field, too. Sign up for a Textline free trial and get a shared textable phone number for your team (or add text messaging to an existing phone number).
* San Francisco Chronicle: Electric scooters for grown-ups now available for rent in San Francisco and San Jose
* Take a ride on a Bird, yourself: bird.co