Bird wants to see more big in Europe... and Paris. The start-up american, pioneer scooters, electric self-service, on Thursday announced to have chosen the French capital as a base for its expansion into Europe, pledging to create 1,000 jobs over the next two years. First company to be launched in the scooters in "free floating," in Los Angeles in September 2017, Bird was the second on the parisian market, in August 2018. It is now present in 120 cities in the world, of which four are in France (Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux), according to its leaders.
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"Paris is a great city for micromovement in general, and we want to continue to invest in the region", explained to AFP its founder and CEO, Travis VanderZanden. "By the end of the year, we will be 50/50 between Europe and the United States" in the activity of the Bird, compared to about 40/60 now. "Clearly, we can't lead Europe from Los Angeles, and have a seat fort in Paris makes sense", he says.
The thousand employees announced will be assigned to the management of the system, but also to the maintenance of the fleet, with the charging of scooters, etc, "We are moving towards a model with employees, rather than people who are paid for the task," said Travis VanderZanden, referring to the "juicers" that recharges the gear at night, and are paid by the piece. While anarchy on the sidewalks and the casualness of the users have tarnished the reputation of the scooters electrical in the French capital, the entrepreneur remains serene.
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"We are clearly in a transition period, towards a society moving from car to other modes of transportation," he says. Explaining that the "mission" of the Bird is to "reduce the number of trips by car in the world", he argues on the fact that the previous transition, from the horse to the automobile, lasted twenty years. "We believe this transition is essential, but we also understand that it is important for us to work closely with the cities and the citizens, in order to find the best way to put this into action." And example would be the recent reduction of its fleet and the addition in the application of a function that indicates where to park.
The start-up will obviously be a candidate in the tender, which will soon be launched by the mayor of Paris, in order to limit the number of operators to three in the capital. In this regard, it notes that Without Francisco has held, in circumstances similar companies that did not have a strong enough, to the detriment of the "majors" of the scooter. And he bought one.
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