Bird Canada launches e-scooter pilot in Toronto’s Distillery District

E-scooter company Bird is currently running pilot programs in multiple Canadian cities.

Bird Canada has launched an e-scooter pilot in Toronto, that will allow residents to take Bird One e-scooters for a test ride, learn and practice micro-mobility vehicle basics, and speak with Bird representatives.

“We see e-scooters as an important transportation option for … those who are visiting, working, and living in key cities across Canada.”

The pilot will take place evenings from September 5 to 15, in a geofenced area within the city’s Distillery District. E-scooters are currently not approved for use by the Province of Ontario, although the province is planning to run a five-year pilot that allows electric scooters on roads. Through its own pilot, Bird Canada is hoping to increase consumer awareness of its offering, after launching its dockless e-scooter in Alberta over the summer.

“The response we’ve received following the launch of our Bird e-scooters in Calgary and Edmonton has been incredible,” said Stewart Lyons, CEO of Bird Canada. “So, what better way to give those living in or visiting Canada’s largest city a taste of what is hopefully to come once e-scooters are approved for use in Toronto than to run a brief pilot in Canada’s premier arts, culture, and entertainment destination.”

Bird Canada, created in June as a subsidiary of Santa Monica-based Bird, was launched with committed capital from Obelysk, Relay Ventures, and Alate Partners. The company’s offering involves an app through which a user can search for available scooters nearby. Before starting a trip, the user inputs their payment information and scans a code on the scooter, which initiates the trip. To end the trip, the user parks the scooter, then ends the ride through Bird’s app.

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Bird was founded in September 2017 by Travis VanderZanden, a former executive at Lyft and Uber. The company operates e-scooters in over 100 cities throughout North America and Europe, with 10 million rides tracked in its first year of operation. Bird launched in Calgary and Edmonton as part of a 16-month pilot that is running until October 2020.

The Distillery District is co-owned by Dream, which co-founded Alate Partners, an investor in Bird Canada. Participants in the 10-day pilot will also receive safety information outlined within Bird Canada’s tips for safe riding.

“We see e-scooters as an important transportation option for our tenants, as well as those who are visiting, working, and living in key cities across Canada, and are very pleased that we could help facilitate this pilot through our collaboration with Bird Canada,” said Gordon Wadley, senior vice president of commercial properties at Dream.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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