Bird, a US transportation startup that provides commuters with e-scooters, is stepping up its game in Tel Aviv amid the start of the Eurovision song festival.
Tel Aviv is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest from Tuesday to Saturday, after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won last year’s contest in Portugal. The competition consists of semifinal rounds on Tuesday and Thursday, followed by the finals on Saturday evening.
Bird said Tuesday its scooters will be available in Tel Aviv, for the first time in any city in which it operates, for 24-hour operations, to help tourists and locals get to Eurovision events at all times. Until now the scooter service was available only until 11 p.m.
The firm, which started providing its services in Tel Aviv last year and now says it has hundreds of scooters deployed there as well as in the adjacent cities of Givatayim and Ramat Gan, is also introducing a new feature in its app that will allow users to reserve scooters 30 minutes in advance of picking them up. That way a user won’t turn up to the pickup point and find the scooter taken by someone else, as sometimes happens.
In addition, the firm will enable users of its app to report poorly parked or damaged scooters, to help keep the streets “clutter free,” and it is deploying “street squads” for the week to make sure its vehicles are parked in sensible locations and do not cause inconvenience, the firm said in a statement.
Bird has also teamed up with a local café network, Landver Café, to give away free helmets to riders who come to the café for breakfast during the Eurovision week between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable week,” said Yaniv Rivlin, the general manager of Bird in Israel, in a statement. “We’re keen to play our part in keeping the city tidy and moving without adding to congestion. We have amazing weather here, so we want people to get out of the car and help cut congestion and air pollution.”