Are There Bird Scooters In Chicago

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

Bird scooters have become a popular mode of transportation in many cities across the United States. These dockless electric scooters are available for rent through an app and can be picked up and dropped off almost anywhere. With their convenience and affordability, more people are turning to Bird scooters as a way to get around, especially in urban areas where traffic congestion is high. However, not all cities welcome these new modes of transportation, with some banning them altogether.

Chicago is one city that has seen its fair share of controversy surrounding Bird scooters. While they were initially introduced in the city in 2018, they were quickly banned due to safety concerns and lack of regulation. However, after much debate and negotiation with the city government, Bird was allowed to reintroduce its scooters in Chicago in 2020 under strict rules and regulations. This article will explore the current state of Bird scooters in Chicago, including how to ride them, cost and payment options, pros and cons of using them, as well as tips for a successful experience riding these electric vehicles.

Introduction to Bird Scooters

This section provides an overview of the transportation option that has gained popularity in various urban environments, particularly for short distance travel and leisure activities. Bird scooters are a dockless electric scooter-sharing system established in 2017 by Travis VanderZanden. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and operates in over 100 cities worldwide. The idea behind this startup was to provide a convenient mode of transportation that could be easily accessed through a mobile application.

Scooters have been around for decades, but dockless electric scooter sharing is a relatively new concept. In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of scooters as they offer several benefits such as reducing traffic congestion and air pollution while providing affordable transportation options to users. Bird scooters have had a significant impact on urban transportation since their inception due to their innovative approach towards solving mobility issues.

Bird scooters work on a simple business model; users download the app and locate nearby available scooters using GPS technology. Once located, they can unlock the scooter with their smartphone and ride it to their desired location at an affordable rate per minute or mile depending on location-based pricing. This model has proven popular among millennials who appreciate its convenience and ease of access.

In conclusion, Bird scooters have revolutionized urban transportation by offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional modes of transport such as cars or buses. They are easy to access via smartphone applications and cost-effective compared to other means of transportation for short distances within cities. As demand continues to grow, it is likely that more cities will adopt this innovative solution as part of their public transport infrastructure going forward.

Bird Scooters in Chicago

The city of Chicago has become a popular destination for shared electric vehicles, particularly for those seeking an alternative mode of transportation. Among these is the Bird scooter, which has made its way to several cities across the United States, including Chicago. The availability of Bird scooters in Chicago has made it easier for individuals to navigate through the city streets without relying on public transportation or personal cars.

One notable feature of Bird scooters in Chicago is their availability in suburban areas. This has expanded the reach and accessibility of this mode of transportation beyond just the downtown area. As such, residents and visitors alike are able to use these scooters as a means to traverse through different neighborhoods and explore various parts of the city with ease.

However, while Bird scooters have provided a convenient option for many, there have been concerns raised about their impact on local transportation. Some argue that they may contribute to traffic congestion and safety issues on already busy roads. Additionally, there have been instances where improperly parked or abandoned scooters have caused inconvenience for pedestrians.

Overall, despite some challenges associated with their use, Bird scooters continue to be available and utilized throughout Chicago. They offer a unique opportunity for individuals looking for an affordable and efficient mode of transportation around town. So whether you’re commuting from work or exploring new areas within the city limits, Bird scooter rentals may be worth considering as part of your travel plans.

How to Ride a Bird Scooter

This discussion will provide a comprehensive guide on riding a Bird scooter, covering the key points of finding and unlocking a scooter, safety tips, and ending your ride. To begin with, riders must find an available scooter by using the Bird app and scanning the QR code located on the handlebars to unlock it. Safety is paramount when riding a Bird scooter, so riders should always wear helmets and obey traffic laws. Finally, to end your ride simply park the scooter in a designated area and lock it using the app.

Finding and Unlocking a Scooter

To initiate the process of locating and activating a personal electronic conveyance, one must first navigate to the designated application on their mobile device and input the necessary credentials to gain access. Once logged in, users can view a map displaying available Bird scooters within their vicinity. The map shows locations of scooters that are ready for use, as well as those that are currently in use by other riders. To unlock a scooter, simply approach it and scan its QR code using your smartphone camera. This will prompt you to enter your payment information and agree to the terms of service before unlocking the scooter.

In case of any issues during this process, Bird provides troubleshooting support through its customer service team. Users can reach out to them via phone or email for assistance with any technical difficulties they may encounter while locating or unlocking a scooter. Overall, finding and unlocking a Bird scooter is a straightforward process that requires minimal effort from users once they have downloaded the app and established an account.

Safety Tips

In order to ensure the safety of riders and pedestrians alike, it is important to implement certain precautions when utilizing personal electronic conveyances such as those offered by Bird in urban areas. One of the most important things that riders can do is use a helmet. While it may seem unnecessary or uncomfortable, helmets can make all the difference in preventing serious head injuries in case of an accident. Additionally, riders should always remain aware of their surroundings and exercise caution while riding. This means keeping an eye out for obstacles on the road, staying alert to traffic patterns and signals, and avoiding distractions such as texting or listening to music.

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Another crucial aspect of safety when using Bird scooters is traffic awareness. Riders should always be mindful of other vehicles on the road, including cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. It is important to follow traffic laws and regulations at all times – this includes obeying stop signs and signals, staying within designated bike lanes or paths where available, and yielding to others when necessary. In addition to following these guidelines, it may also be helpful for riders to take a defensive approach while riding; assuming that other drivers may not see them or may act unpredictably can help prevent accidents before they occur. By prioritizing safety through helmet usage and traffic awareness, Bird scooter users can enjoy their ride with peace of mind knowing they are minimizing risks for themselves and others around them.

Ending Your Ride

The safe and responsible use of personal electronic conveyances such as those offered by Bird also involves proper adherence to guidelines for ending rides, including a conscientious effort to park vehicles in designated areas that do not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic. When parking a Bird scooter, it is important to be mindful of parking etiquette and avoid blocking entrances, sidewalks, or other public spaces. Additionally, riders should report any issues with the vehicle such as damage or malfunctioning components so that they can be addressed promptly.

In order to ensure optimal safety for both riders and pedestrians alike, it is important for users of personal electronic conveyances like Bird scooters to follow proper protocols when ending their rides. This includes taking steps to prevent the obstruction of footpaths and roadways by parking in areas where the vehicle will not impede traffic flow. By adhering to these guidelines and reporting issues as soon as they arise, users can help ensure that everyone has access to safe and reliable transportation options in urban environments like Chicago.

Cost and Payment

The pricing structure and payment options for the scooter rental service available in Chicago are worth examining closely. The cost analysis reveals that the service charges a base fee of $1 per ride, with an additional 15 cents charged per minute of use. This means that a 30-minute ride would cost $5.50, while a 60-minute ride would be $10. Additionally, Bird offers a prepaid plan known as Bird Pass, which allows users to pay a flat rate of $24.99 for three free rides up to 30 minutes each day for a month.

Payment methods available include credit or debit cards on the app, as well as Google Pay or Apple Pay options for added convenience. Users must also comply with local regulations regarding helmets and safety guidelines when using the service.

It is worth noting that some cities may have varying pricing structures and payment options depending on local regulations and demand. However, overall, Bird’s pricing system provides affordable access to transportation in urban areas where traffic congestion can make other modes of transport less efficient.

Overall, the affordability and convenient payment options provided by Bird make it an attractive option for those seeking quick and easy transportation around Chicago’s busy streets. By providing accessible transport solutions at reasonable rates through flexible payment methods, Bird has shown itself to be an innovative company committed to making the lives of city dwellers easier and more manageable without sacrificing quality or safety standards.

Pros and Cons of Using Bird Scooters

The use of Bird scooters has gained popularity as an alternative means of transportation in urban areas. While there are benefits to using these electric scooters, such as convenience and affordability, there are also drawbacks that should be considered, including safety concerns and potential legal issues. Additionally, it is important to compare the use of Bird scooters to other transportation options available in order to make informed decisions about their usage.


Exploring the advantages of urban transportation options can provide a deeper understanding of the potential benefits available to commuters navigating metropolitan areas. Bird scooters offer numerous benefits that make them an attractive option for those looking for a quick and convenient way to get around the city. Some of these benefits include:

  • Environmental impact: By choosing to ride a Bird scooter instead of driving a car, individuals can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute towards preserving the environment.
  • Health benefits: Riding a Bird scooter is not only fun but also provides health benefits such as increased physical activity, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced stress levels.
  • Cost-effective: Using Bird scooters can be more cost-effective than owning or renting a car, especially for short trips or errands around town.

Overall, using Bird scooters can help individuals save time and money while also promoting healthy lifestyle choices and reducing their environmental impact. However, it is important to note that safety should always be a top priority when riding any type of vehicle on public roads. It is essential to follow all traffic rules and regulations to ensure both personal safety and the safety of others sharing the road.


One consideration when using urban transportation options is the potential drawbacks, which can impact the convenience and safety of commuters. While Bird scooters have become a popular choice for short distance travel in many cities, including Chicago, they also come with their own set of drawbacks. One major concern is the environmental impact of these electric scooters, as they require frequent charging and maintenance. Additionally, the widespread use of these scooters has led to issues such as overcrowding on sidewalks and streets, which can pose safety risks for both riders and pedestrians.

To mitigate some of these drawbacks, it is important to consider alternative options for urban transportation. One option could be investing in public transportation infrastructure or expanding bike share programs to provide more environmentally-friendly alternatives. Another solution could involve regulating the use of electric scooters more closely to ensure that they are being used safely and responsibly. Ultimately, it will require a combination of individual effort and larger systemic changes to create sustainable solutions for urban mobility that benefit everyone involved.

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Drawbacks Impact
Environmental impact Frequent charging and maintenance
Safety concerns Overcrowding on sidewalks/streets
Regulatory challenges Misuse by riders/pedestrians
Limited accessibility Not available in all areas/neighborhoods Limited range May not be suitable for longer distances or commutes

Comparison to Other Transportation Options

Comparing urban transportation options reveals the benefits and limitations of each alternative, providing valuable insights for individuals and policymakers seeking to improve mobility in cities. When it comes to bird scooters in Chicago, they offer a unique mode of transportation that is both affordable and convenient. However, they are not the only option available for city residents.

Public transportation is another popular option in Chicago. The city has an extensive public transit system that includes buses and trains operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). While public transportation may be more cost-effective than using ride-sharing services or renting a bird scooter, it can also be less efficient due to overcrowding during peak hours or unexpected delays. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available in Chicago, offering users the convenience of door-to-door service without the need to navigate public transit schedules or deal with parking. Ultimately, choosing between these different options will depend on individual preferences regarding affordability, convenience, and time constraints.

Tips for a Successful Bird Scooter Experience

The implementation of various strategies can enhance the efficiency and safety of utilizing shared electric vehicles in urban environments. Bird scooters are a popular option for short distance travel in Chicago. To make the most out of your Bird scooter experience, consider these tips to ensure that you have a safe and successful ride.

Choosing routes is an important aspect of using any mode of transportation, but it is particularly crucial for those on a time-sensitive schedule. When planning your route, pay attention to road conditions and traffic patterns to avoid congested streets. It is also important to note that some areas may be off-limits for Bird scooters due to local regulations or safety concerns. Familiarize yourself with these restricted zones before you start your ride.

Parking etiquette is another critical component of responsible usage when operating a Bird scooter. Always park your scooter appropriately in designated parking zones or on sidewalks without blocking pedestrian pathways. Be mindful not to leave your scooter in a position where it poses a danger or inconvenience to others passing by.

To provide further guidance on how best to operate their scooters safely and effectively, Bird provides users with an online tutorial covering proper riding techniques and maintenance procedures. Additionally, during your ride, always wear protective gear such as helmets and knee pads as well as follow all traffic laws and signals.

In summary, utilizing shared electric vehicles like the Bird scooter can be an efficient way to travel around Chicago if done responsibly. By paying attention to choosing routes carefully, following parking etiquette guidelines, wearing protective gear during rides, and adhering to traffic laws while operating the vehicle; users can enjoy smooth journeys while minimizing risks associated with urban transit options like this one.

Conclusion and Future of Bird Scooters

Looking towards the future, the widespread adoption of shared electric vehicles like Bird scooters highlights the potential for sustainable transportation options in urban environments. As more people become aware of their environmental impact and seek out alternative modes of travel, these types of services will likely continue to grow in popularity. However, it is important to assess the impact that these vehicles have on cities and their residents.

One area where regulation challenges have arisen is with regards to safety. While companies like Bird provide guidelines for safe riding practices, there have been reports of accidents and injuries related to scooter use. This has led some municipalities to impose restrictions or outright bans on the use of these vehicles. Additionally, concerns about sidewalk clutter and pedestrian safety have been raised as a result of large numbers of scooters being left on sidewalks or abandoned in public spaces.

Despite these challenges, there are many potential benefits associated with shared electric vehicles like Bird scooters. They offer an affordable and convenient way for people to get around cities without contributing additional pollution or traffic congestion. Additionally, they can help reduce reliance on personal cars and encourage more active forms of transportation.

In conclusion, while there are certainly challenges associated with regulating and implementing shared electric vehicle programs like Bird scooters in urban areas, they hold immense promise as a sustainable transportation option. By carefully assessing their impact and working collaboratively with city officials and residents, we can work towards creating safer and more efficient urban environments that benefit everyone involved.


In conclusion, Bird scooters have made their way to Chicago and provide a convenient mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike. Despite some initial controversy surrounding the introduction of these scooters in the city, they have gained popularity due to their ease of use and accessibility. Riding a Bird scooter is relatively simple and can be done through an app on your smartphone.

However, it is important to consider both the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to use a Bird scooter. While they offer an affordable option for short-distance travel, safety concerns such as accidents and injuries should not be overlooked. For instance, in 2018, a woman was killed in California while riding a Bird scooter without wearing a helmet.

Overall, Bird scooters offer convenience and affordability but should be used with caution. As technology continues to advance, it will be interesting to see how electric scooter companies like Bird evolve to address safety concerns while still providing efficient modes of transportation for urban environments.

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