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Paris Wants To Tax Bike And Scooter-Share Companies

E-scooters and bike-sharing docks are now amongst the many things tourists can see on the streets of Paris. According to city officials, there are about 15,000 free-floating modes of transportation in Paris. Now, the city is looking to tax operators like Lime and Bird. “If these new modes of mobility are of interest – less pollution, non-noisy – they are not without posing real difficulties,” the Paris City Council said on its website. There are 40,000 more vehicles set to arrive in the city and Paris officials are gearing up to push legislation that will solidify the tax on scooter and bike-sharing companies. “The rise of cycling in the capital is a key issue for sustainable mobility, but it can not be done at the expense of sharing the harmonious public space,”  Paris City Council said in another post. Paris is also set to create new legislation around parking e-scooters. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is currently pressuring the Prime Minister to create new regulations on the...

Arriana McLymore

Mar 22, 2019

Bird Is Laying Off 5 Percent Of Its Workforce

Scooter sharing giant Bird is laying off about 5 percent of its workforce, according to the Information. About 40 employees in the 900-person company were let go for cost reasons. Bird quickly expanded throughout 2018 and has raised almost $400 million so far. Now the company is scaling back scooter fleets in Los Angeles and other cities. Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden told the Information that the company is now focused more on being fiscally responsible. According to TechCrunch, the layoffs were part of the company’s annual performance review and those impacted will be offered severance and other benefits. “As we establish local service centers and deeper roots in cities where we provide service, we have shifting geographic workforce needs,” a Bird spokeswoman said to the Information. Ride-sharing companies have had scooter and bike companies under their watchful eyes as they look to expand to other transportation divisions. Back in December, Uber was in talks to acquire the company...

Arriana McLymore

Mar 15, 2019

Bird Is Changing The Landscape Of Transportation — And The Face Of Engineering

Chances are you’ve seen Bird in your city. You might even have ridden one for fun on a beautiful day, or for a quick and inexpensive ride when you needed to get somewhere in a crunch. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like working at the startup transforming the way people get around, we spoke to Rodney Gainous Jr. and Alona King — software engineers at Bird— to get a deeper look inside. Landing at Bird Gainous moved to LA in January and noticed the high number of people riding scooters around town. After a friend finally convinced him to unlock a Bird, he realized how enjoyable the experience was. He further researched the company, reached out to Travis VanderZanden, CEO of Bird, who introduced him to Justin Balthrop, the CTO. Shortly after, Rodney was working on the iOS and Android apps as the youngest and one of the 10 first members of Bird’s engineering team. Alona King began to see Bird as an affordable, accessible means of transportation that was going to completely change the...