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As the new semester of distance learning commences, educators are hard at work learning new teaching strategies and mastering multiple online platforms without any additional compensation. To say thank you for going above and beyond in these challenging times, Bird scooters has decided to launch a monthlong free ride program for teachers.

The new program offers teachers two free 30-minute rides per day and is valid from Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Wednesday, Sept. 30. To sign up, teachers can email together@bird.co with their teacher ID or teaching credentials.

“Bird is part of every community in which we operate. Our communities and team are made up of parents and teachers who are working together to navigate the school year this fall,” said Rebecca Hahn, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Bird. “After launching Free Rides for Healthcare Workers in the spring, it was a natural next step to support this additional group of essential workers.”

Santa Monica High School Principal Antonio Shelton spread the word about the program Wednesday morning on Twitter and thanked Bird for supporting local teachers.

While many of Bird’s riders are young adults, the program encourages teachers of all ages to experience a socially distant, environmentally friendly, and fun way to get around. To help new riders get comfortable traveling by scooter, Bird recently introduced a ‘warm-up mode’ that automatically softens a scooter’s acceleration as it works its way up to full speed.

“School looks so different this year and varies from community to community. Some teachers will need to commute to school to lead zoom classes from an empty classroom. Some may need to run errands to get supplies for teaching at home. Still others may simply need a break from zoom and want to clear their minds with an open-air ride around their neighborhood or to grab lunch from a local restaurant. We hope we can offer a little support in whatever way we can,” said Hahn.

The Free Rides for Teachers program recognizes that teachers in urban areas work very hard for not a large amount of money and often rely on public transportation to get around. During the pandemic residents of Santa Monica may be more reluctant to ride the metro and can no longer order shared rides on Uber or Lyft. Scooters from companies like Bird or Lime that are designed for single riders, offer a COVID-safe means of transportation and are a great way to take advantage of Santa Monica’s unusually quiet streets.

“Bird e-scooters are sanitized every time they are recharged and/or serviced, using CDC-approved cleaning solutions and disinfectant products. Between servicings, spot cleanings are regularly performed in the field on high-touch surfaces such as bells, throttles, and handlebars,” said Hahn. “We are sharing the good news across media, social channels, and through direct outreach by our community partnerships teams to help reach as many teachers as possible this month.”

Clara@smdp.com