Scooter company Bird to lay off 30 percent of staff amid COVID-19 uncertainties, report says

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The short-term future of mobility services, from ride hailing to short-term car rentals to scooters, is rocky as some users temporarily stray from use of shared transportation.

Scooter providers have been pulling out of various markets worldwide as the pandemic continues to spread, which has instigated a necessary tightening of operations.

As riders reduce use of these services under stay-at-home orders in numerous markets across the globe, some companies are reducing their fleets or doubling down on cleaning just to stay afloat.

Bird released a memo earlier in March about increasing the daily frequency with which the company cleans and sanitizes its vehicles and helmets, increasing the frequency of its deep-clean “Bird Baths” that take place in Bird’s local service centers, and providing extra gloves for field service staff members.

Other mobility providers, such as ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, also have been navigating the increased need for cleanliness and informing drivers and riders of cleaning protocols.

Uber and Lyft also have temporarily suspended their shared-rides features.

Still, demand for ride-hailing trips in recent weeks has mirrored that of scooter usage and declined across the U.S. Many drivers told Reuters they stopped driving over fears of getting exposed to the virus or infecting others.

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