Electric scooter company Bird will now show available Capital Metro bikes in its app

Austin is one of five cities worldwide included in the company's new integration. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
Austin is one of five cities worldwide included in the company's new integration. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)

Austin is one of five cities worldwide included in the company's new integration. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)

Scooter users in Austin might notice a new feature when opening the Bird app on their phones. The scooter company unveiled an integration Sept. 22 that shows the number of available bikes through Capital Metro’s bikeshare program MetroBike.

Once riders tap on the bike icon on the map, the BCycle app, now called MetroBike, will launch so that they can book their ride.

Austin is one of the first cities that will be able to use the feature, along with San Antonio, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Oslo.

A Bird spokesperson said in an email that Austin’s goal of having 50% of commuters get to work without driving alone by 2039 aligns with the company’s own goals.

“Austin has a robust biking culture and is forward-thinking in its relation to micro-electric transportation,” the spokesperson added.

According to a press release from Bird, a company known for its electric scooter rentals, the service is free to cities and local operators.

“The initiative, part of Bird’s Smart Bikeshare Program and new public e-bike first announced in June, complements shared scooters, existing public transportation and local bike-sharing networks all in one,” the press release reads.

MetroBike, called BCycle until Capital Metro began operating the service last year, has 75 stations according to the Capital Metro website. It offers multiple pass options for riders, and its pay-as-you-ride option costs $1 to start a ride and $0.23 for each minute.

While Bird has begun to roll out e-bikes of its own, the spokesperson said that it doesn’t have immediate plans to unveil that offering in Austin.

“Cities that have existing local bikeshare programs should be supported and celebrated for providing access to alternatives to gas-powered vehicles,” the spokesperson added. “Additionally, in a time when there is such low usage of public transportation, we want to make it easier than ever for riders to have access to other safe and eco-friendly transit options.”

Bird operates a fleet of 3,250 scooters in Austin that cost $1 to start a ride, $0.39 for each minute, as well as a $0.15 city fee, according to the Austin Transportation Department website. Lime, which can be found on the Uber app, is the only company that operates more with 5,850 scooters.
By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.


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