Becoming a Bird Charger or Lime Juicer is pretty easy.
STEP 1: THE APPLICATION
The first step is filing out a short application that asks for your name, location, and contact information.
Once Bird confirms you live in an area where they need Chargers, they’ll send you a text message to complete the sign up process in their app.
The application asks for basic tax and bank account information so they can give you direct despots. The process is pretty straightforward and only takes a couple minutes.
STEP 2: THE WAIT
After completing the application, get ready for a wait. As of this writing (9/30/18) Bird and Lime are super backed up on applications, so expect to wait anywhere between 1 to 8 weeks for a confirmation of your app. There’s no known way to accelerate your application; you just have to be patient.
The length of your wait depends on the area you live in. Areas where Bird has been operating for the longest (like Los Angeles) have the longest wait times, while areas where Bird is relatively new have the shortest wait times. In places where Bird has just launched, your wait time may be as short as 24 hours.
STEP 3: THE TEXT
Once your application is confirmed, you’ll get a text message from Bird confirming your Charger status. Depending on the area you live in, this confirmation could take anywhere from a few days to a few months.
The text message you receive will be from a Bird community manager. He or she will ask you a few basic questions. The questions they asked me were:
What kind of vehicle do you have?
How many days per week can you charge Birds?
What is your shipping address for confirmation?
Bird says none of the questions are binding commitments, but it probably can’t hurt to tell them you have a large car and can charge several days per week. Even if you say you’ll charge 6 or 7 days per week, Bird won’t (for now) reject your Charger status if you fail to charge as often as you say you can.
STEP 4: GETTING YOUR EQUIPMENT
After you submit your answers, Bird sends you 3 new scooter chargers in the mail. They don’t charge you for the hardware, but they do collect a $10 deposit per charger before you make any money as a charger.
So the first $30 you make as a charger goes towards your hardware deposit. Bird starts paying you AFTER the first $30 you earn.
STEP 5: START CHARGING!
Now that you’ve got your hardware, you can begin charging!
When you open the Bird app, the main menu will now have an option for “Charger Mode.” When its activated, you’ll be able to see all the Birds in your area available for charging.
Each marker on the map represents a Bird that can be picked up and charged. The color of each Bird varies according to how high or low the battery charge on the Bird is.
The amount you get paid for charging each scooter depends mainly on how low on power the scooter is when its picked up. The lower the charge, the more you get paid. So a scooter that has x% battery life remaining might get you $x, while a scooter with x% battery left might earn you x$. Higher prices are also paid for scooters that appear to be lost or are difficult to find. The rewards for charging these scooters can be as high as $x, but they are often very difficult to locate — often hidden away inside parking garages or locked up in peoples’ homes and apartments.
While the Bird charger map is helpful for finding scooters to charge, the app is notoriously slow and often crashes or fails to update. It also only shows Bird scooters. So if you’re charging for multiple companies, it helps to have a tool that shows scooters for all the companies at the same time, so you don’t have to flip back and forth between several different apps.
That’s where apps like Scootermap.com — that show scooters for all the companies in the same place — can be a big help.