Bird’s new Community Pricing Program looks to provide an affordable, safe alternative to public transit during the pandemic. Local reisdents can email if they wish to participate this month. Courtesy photo.

Bird, which is headquartered in Santa Monica, is now offering 50 percent off scooters rides to many community members including low-income riders, Pell Grant recipients, select local nonprofit and community organizations, veterans, and senior citizens. The new Community Pricing Program is designed to provide affordable transportation as a safe alternative to public transit during the pandemic.

“Community Corp Santa Monica is thrilled that Bird is offering new Community Pricing to our residents. Many of our staff and residents already use Birds as a way to get around Santa Monica and this discounted offering will provide a lower cost that will help during these challenging times,” said Tara Baruaskas, Executive Director of Community Corp Santa Monica.

To sign up for the program community members can email proof of eligibility to Seniors should send ID showing age 65+ and low-income residents should show enrollment in any state or federal low-income programs such as SNAP or discounted utility bills.

“We are partnering with a number of community organizations in Santa Monica, such as CCSM and Heal the Bay, to promote Bird as a sustainable and affordable transportation option to their employees, and where relevant, the communities they serve,” said Tim Harter, Government Partnerships at Bird, and Santa Monica resident. “We invite any local non-profits or community groups who believe they could benefit from this program to reach out to us directly.”

This Community Pricing Program is available until the end of the year and was inspired by the positive feedback from Bird’s free ride programs for teachers and healthcare providers. The expanded program is designed to help those invested in the community and those strongly impacted by the economic and safety consequences of COVID-19.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of riders using Bird as a way to move around Santa Monica this summer. We are also seeing more first time riders. We are proud to be rolling out this new program to reach even more people with our open-air mobility,” said Harter.

Part of the boom in local e-scooter usage is a result of health concerns with travel on public transit or Ubers, according to Bird. Bird scooters are designed for open-air personal transport and are sanitized each time they are recharged or serviced. In between these times field members perform spot cleanings on high-touch surfaces like bells, throttles, and handlebars.

“In a world of distance and uncertainty, the ability to move safely, sustainably, and affordably becomes more important than ever,” said Rebecca Hahn, Bird’s Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer. “We hope that our new, expanded Community Pricing Program will not only bring greater transportation access to those impacted by recent strains on public transit but that it will also be a small source of reliability and assurance for people during a year that has been anything but.”