Locals in Tel Aviv are always on the move, from bikes and skateboards to scooters and electric bicycles, there are many modes of transportation. The latest gadget and mode of transportation to hit the city are electric scooters. There are a variety of electric scooter rental services; Bird is the biggest company but there are constantly new ones popping up, like Lime, and Wind. These services allow users to pick up scooters anywhere in the city and ride them as long as needed, calculating the price per minute.
Bird is a California based company committed to reducing car ownership and pollution. In a city like Tel Aviv, where the traffic can be epic, Bird scooters are changing the way people commute. Since August 2018, Bird scooters have appeared all over Tel Aviv and are used by locals and tourists alike to get around. It has also been extended to other cities like Ramat Gan and Jerusalem. It is expected to continue to reach other cities around Israel.
There are several Bird “nests” found throughout the city, and each night the scooters are gathered and return to their nest to ensure their availability in the morning for commuters. Locals can collect the Bird scooters themselves and charge them overnight before returning them to the nests. By self-charging, users gain Bird credits towards the rental service. The idea is to encourage the community and create a shared economy for riders.
How to Use Scooters in Tel Aviv
In order to use scooters in Tel Aviv, users must download the company’s individual app in advance. The app will locate the closest scooter to wherever you are. Using the app, riders can unlock the scooters with the simple tap of a button and can then begin riding instantly. The scooters are easy to ride and provide instructions in terms of foot placement and safety. Scooters must be operated in bike lanes and should not be driven on sidewalks or roads.
Where to Find/Leave Scooters in Tel Aviv
Since the scooters are charged and moved each night, the locations may change. All locations are indicated in the app making it easy to find the closest scooter. There are no designated spots for the scooters but it is best not to leave them in high foot traffic areas. For example, in the middle of walkways, bike lanes, ramps, entrances, and fire hydrants. It is best to leave them on the pavement and not on grass, pebbles or sand. It is also not advisable to leave the scooters an incline or hill, flat surfaces are best.
How Much Does it Cost to Use a Scooter in Tel Aviv?
Each company sets its own prices. A Bird ride, for example, costs 5 NIS to start and half a shekel per minute of riding. In order to use the scooters, payment must be done using a credit card and charges are automatically applied once the ride is complete.
Riders must be a minimum of 18 years in order to operate the scooters. They must also hold a valid drivers license. The scooters are not meant to be shared, and can only hold one rider.
If you’re looking for a new way to get around Tel Aviv, try out a scooter, just make sure that you use caution and ride safely.