Sustainable Business News (SBIZ)
c/o Squall Inc.
P.O. Box 1484, Stn. B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6
Canada: 1-855-569-6300

Bird Canada expands to 3 Greater Toronto Area cities

IMAGE: A Bird e-scooter customer
A Bird e-scooter customer. (Courtesy Bird Canada)

Electric transportation provider Bird Global Inc. says it will expand across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) this spring, becoming the exclusive operator of shared e-scooters in Hamilton, and operating fleets in Brampton and Oshawa.

Bird will now operate in five cities in Ontario, also including Ottawa and Windsor, as well as 11 other cities across Canada.

It will bring 450 of its Bird Three shared electric scooters to Hamilton, 250 to Brampton and 300 to Oshawa.

“Since we came together as one team, our focus has remained unchanged - to continue serving local communities in the most sustainable, reliable and successful way for riders, policymakers and our business,” a Bird spokesperson told SustainableBiz via email. “We are very excited about the launches in the Greater Toronto Area, and reiterate our commitment to this work.”

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Miami, Bird Global (BRDS-N) offers electric scooters for short-term rentals, as well as direct-to-consumer electric scooters and bikes. It is now available in over 350 cities, primarily across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

The Bird Three has a battery capacity up to one kilowatt-hour.

Bird Canada’s expansion

Bird Canada was founded in 2019, and until this year had operated independently using Bird branding, vehicles and technology. However, this year saw a $42.6 million funding transaction that integrated Bird Canada’s operations into the global business.

It also saw three Bird Canada executives join Bird Global. Among them was Lyons, co-founder and CEO of the Canadian brand.

The GTA expansion will begin with a launch event in Hamilton on April 3. Others will follow in coming weeks.

“Since our earliest days, we’ve been committed to partnering with cities to expand access to reliable, sustainable transportation through shared micro-mobility programs and expanding in the Greater Toronto Area has long been a high priority for us,” Stewart Lyons, Bird’s president, said in a statement.

“We would love to expand further into Canadian markets, support their goals of sustainability and active transportation and are eager to have those conversations with cities to find the right solutions."

All markets were approved after a request-for-proposal process, according to a release.

In the email response to questions from SustainableBiz, the Bird spokesperson cited strong support from policymakers for bringing e-scooters into the local markets.

The company also reports it is already EBITDA-positive for the full year in its Canadian operations.

“Bird Canada has grown to be the largest micro-mobility operator in Canada, and has done so successfully and profitably, helping contribute to Bird’s global footprint,” the spokesperson wrote. “We share a deep commitment to continuing to serve the communities in which we operate, being trusted local partners, enabling city leaders to meet their mobility and climate goals.”

Future Canadian markets

Since Bird began operations, Bird riders have taken over three million trips and travelled over eight million kilometres. The company states this has saved 2,150 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

In 2022 alone, Bird Canada riders travelled the equivalent of 552,810 car journeys, based on the assumption that 45 per cent of all trips taken would have been car trips had e-scooters not been available.

Based on a survey the company conducted last November with 3,030 respondents, Bird Canada users contributed an estimated $32.8 million to the economy by supporting local businesses in 2022.

“We launch in cities after we have worked collaboratively with local leaders on a framework that will help ensure success. In Hamilton, we will be the exclusive operator of scooters, so we will work with the city to always ensure riders who want to ride are able to find an available vehicle,” the spokesperson wrote.

“In other cities, we work to find the right balance of vehicles and demand to ensure they’re available to everyone who needs one at the right time.”

Industry Events