CATMAChittenden Area Transportation Management Association

Bikeshare FAQs

Whoosh!  That is the sound you hear when you start pedaling one of the new Bird bikes. bicycle icon bicycle icon bicycle icon

Bird’s electric assist bikes are now available through Bird in Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski.

We worked hard to put a new bikeshare system in place and understand that there are some questions about the bikes and the Bird system. Bird is new to our region and operates differently than previous bikeshare systems.

Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Bird bikes do not have a motor, but they do have a battery. When you get on the bike and start pedaling, the bike automatically increases your speed. That is the battery adding some power to your pedals!

This added “oomph” means Bird bikes are great for anyone who needs a little extra help on a bicycle. Bird bikes get you up a hill, and help you get to where you are going faster. You don’t have to be a super-cyclist to ride a Bird bike. Worried about missing the bus? Take a Bird to the bus stop. Worried about getting back up the hill to campus? Zoom up the hill on a Bird. Forgot a few groceries? Bird to the store for those bananas.

Parking a Bird bike is easy. There are two ways to park: lock the Bird to a bike rack or place it on the sidewalk but out of the way. Be sure to park the bike upright no matter where you park the Bird bike.

On the UVM Campus it is required to park at one of the many on-campus bike racks. Each bike has an integrated lock you can use.

On the Church Street marketplace in Burlington, it is required to park at a bike rack.

Outside of UVM and the Church Street marketplace, parking at a bike rack is helpful but not required as long as the bike is upright and not blocking access.

You can park almost anywhere. This is especially useful and important for those living in areas that do not have bike racks.


For example, maybe you biked back home from downtown. Most neighborhoods don’t have a bike rack. It is ok to park the bike near or on the sidewalk, but upright and out of the way. It pays to be considerate when parking the bikes.

Burlington residents and businesses are legally required to maintain the small greenbelt next to the sidewalk. Parking a bike on top of this means you are essentially parking on someone’ s lawn and that can create more work for residents who might need to report the improperly parked bike. If the sidewalk looks a bit narrow, look for a streetcorner with a bit more pavement to park the bike.

Never block the sidewalk or an ADA ramp when parking a Bird bike.

Nobody wants to trip over a badly parked Bird, especially your neighbors!  Just be considerate and respectful.

There have been photos of bikeshare bikes on the sidewalks and making it difficult for pedestrians or maintenance. Nobody wants that! The folks who put out the bikes for Bird are careful about placing the bikes. Bird makes it easy to report bikes that are badly parked whether you have the free Bird app or not.

Two ways to report a badly parked Bird

Use the free Bird app

  1. Open the app.
  2. Tap the triangle with the exclamation point in the lower left corner.
  3. Tap on “badly parked Bird.”
  4. This opens a place for you to scan the QR code on the bike, take a pic and share the issue (example: blocking access, tipped over)

OR Send an email

If you cannot access the Bird App, email with the location and, optionally, attach a photo.

Nobody wants a badly parked Bird!

There are currently a couple of ways to get a discount on your ride.  If you are affiliated with a CATMA member organization (UVM, Champlain College, UVMMC and more), you are eligible for a 20% discount but you must sign up with Bird using your work email.

Bird also has a community plan that automatically gives 50% off to those who qualify.

No. It does not, as long as you sign up or reserve a bike in the Cities of Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski.  Outside of these cities, the App will ask for a driver’s license or ID.

To avoid any inconvenience, simply sign up and reserve your Bird within the system limits of these Cities

Over 1,000 miles

In its first week, folks rode 1,000 miles on our Bird bikes. We chalk this up to the bikes being fast, fun and easy to ride. “Just did my second Bird ride to the grocery store. It made a really mundane task I couldn’t have done without the bike. It was actually fun!?!? Double bonus points!” said CATMA employee, Marlena Compton.

We appreciate the community feedback and excitement about the Bird bikes as we “roll out” this new system.  Bird and CATMA take the feedback seriously. As we continue to use and grow the system, we anticipate working through any concerns with Bird and the community. Your feedback matters!  Together, we will create another successful transportation option in our community!

Have fun, be patient and give the Bird bikes a test flight!