Bird the uber of electric scooters has a contract workforce too – curbed la physical science electricity review worksheet

Competitors have scrambled to add scooters to new markets, and the big three companies—Bird, LimeBike, and Spin—have more than $ 200 million in venture capital funding and aggressive expansion plans. These companies arrived unexpectedly in Nashville and Charlotte over the last few days.

Curbed spoke with four Californians in Los Angeles and the San Francisco areas who work for Bird Scooters, which launched in Santa Monica and Venice last fall. These workers, all independent contractors, represent a new facet of the gig economy, and all enjoy the job and the ability to make money with a flexible side hustle.

Bird declined to comment and wouldn’t provide Curbed with any details about the number of employees who work in these roles, how much the company is spending on charging and repairs, or any other information about this aspect of their operations. Patrick Sisson ‘Do you like to make money while you sleep?’

Residents of Venice Beach have likely spotted Bird contractors working in their neighborhood. A pick-up will drive by, with a stack of Bird scooters packed in the truck bed. Or, a scooter rider may roll by with a rider balancing two or three additional out-of-commission scooters resting perpendicular on the scooter’s deck.

These are the chargers, independent contractors who keep the electric scooters running by charging them at their homes or apartments (a competitor, LimeBike, calls them “Juicers”). One of the advantages of dockless scooter systems like Bird is decentralization; the vehicles have no fixed docks, and go where riders are. The contract workers who charge Birds do the same.

Workers sign up online or via the Bird app (the website asks, “Do you like to make money while you sleep?”). After a phone interview to discuss the job, chargers are mailed a set of charger cords—three to start, according to chargers Curbed spoke with, and more as they prove reliable and develop a good track record. Harry Campbell, who runs a website about driving for Uber and Lyft, created a step-by-step guide to becoming a charger. The company caps the numbers of cords per charger at 20, and each requires a $10 deposit.

Charged scooters need to be in a nest between 4 and 7 a.m., in groups of three with handlebars tilted to the right and kickstands down. Chargers need to snap a photo of the scooters when they release them and send to Bird to verify they’re set up correctly. Scooters need to be picked up by 8 p.m., and then the cycle continues the next day.

The chargers Curbed spoke to said it’s a great part-time gig—most worked 5 to 6 hours at most every day—and a flexible way to earn extra money. They also said the repeated charging didn’t make a serious dent on their utility costs (the company says it costs 8 to 15 cents per Bird). One estimated that a particularly busy schedule would add between $5 and $10 a month to the electric bill. How Bird scooters get fixed

According to Westell, mechanics are broken down into three categories, L1, L2, and L3. He’s an L1, and deals with basic repairs: he’ll fix flat tires, change inner tubes, loosen stuck throttles, and repair busted brake lines. Anything more serious gets passed on to different mechanics.

“There are times when people beat the shit out of the scooters because they aren’t their property,” he says. “Birds are new, but I’m sure the company will get a lot more strict once they see their product being destroyed, and having to pay for it.” Big perks

Rochelle Randle, 26, a new mom who lives in Burlingame, California, about 13 miles from San Francisco, discovered Bird when she and her partner were looking for a new way to earn some extra money. She’s been charging for a month since the company came to San Francisco, waking up around 5 a.m. to head to south San Francisco and release scooters, and then doing one or two charging shifts during the day.