The financials of the scooter business to El Segundo. There is a lot to consider in that statement. The reason is that this all seemed quite simple last week when there was only once company in town. Now, not only has Bird laid claim to El Segundo, but so has Lime.
At the City Council meeting last week, one of the issues that came up was that Bird had just plopped down in town. Certain members of City Hall felt that this was a little disrespectful. That thought got amplified when Bird announced that they actually have a revenue-share program with Santa Monica. One member, Carol Pirsztuk, said that she felt Bird wouldn’t have shared that unless prodded. This didn’t leave a good taste in her mouth.
Bird’s has different deals set up with various cities. Some are charging a license fee of between $20-25,000 to operate. Cities participate in revenue either in set fees or a number of other share structures. This can include $130 per scooter or $1 per day, as Bird said at City Hall. We covered that story here.
The question is how many scooters actually get dropped in El Segundo and how many rides. Bird said that it won’t increase their volume unless it is at 3 rides per day on a scooter. They added that El Segundo is sitting at 3.7 rides per unit currently. Using Bird’s formula, they could add another seven scooters and still maintain their average.
One of the things that was tabled at City Hall was to set out to talk to other companies and see what their offers to the City might be? If Bird was to offer $1 per day on a unit, maybe another company was willing to pay more. With Lime jumping in, it looks like the City will have the opportunity to open those talks.
If the City can get its arms around the scooter situation, there may be some real upside financially. The monies that come from the fees could go towards other programs. The recent uproar by residents over the fees for the aquatic centers could be offset by something like this. And that is only one program that is on the table.
The meeting at City Hall concluded with the City saying they wanted to come up with a 6-month pilot. Details had yet to be worked out.
One thing is for certain, the scooter business isn’t slowing down any time soon. Bird just dropped off 100 scooters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Yet another city that will be figuring this all out as well.