In the Middle East, Circ was managing operations for the sharing scooters supplied into the market by parent company Bird. Now, operations for scooter sharing have been shut down in several cities in the region. About 100 employees have been laid off, and 10000 electric scooters have been taken off the road and scrapped.
The micro-mobility start-up Circ’s scooters have been sent to a third part company in UAE itself for the recycling process to begin. The name of the company isn’t mentioned to the media after making the statement that they are not allowed to pass on this information.
The Bird had only recently announced its expansion through the acquisition of its European counterpart. Today, six months later, the company has come to pausing operations, and the shut down will be mainly affecting Circ’s business in Bahrain, UAE, and Qatar. The Bird did mention that they are not planning to leave the Middle East entirely but are only pausing operations for a while, and the plan is to return in Fall later.
Out of the 10000 scooters that have been scrapped, 1000 were almost new, and 8000 have been sent to Enviroserve for recycling. The company is known for recycling electronics and other products in the region.
The parent company in context here, Bird, is now focussing on running its service under the name Tel Aviv and the reason for pausing operations in the Middle East is the heat it will be exposed to during this time of the year. During the pause, Bird will also be recycling parts of Circ’s old fleet. Quality standards will be maintained in the new scooters that will be seen later as the old ones have gone through wear and tear and don’t meet those standards anymore.
The company’s aim behind recycling 10000 scooters is that the re-use would end up, resulting in safety issues, which is not what they wish to offer to their riders. Bird has added to this by saying they are looking forward to working in even more cities in the regions and would be resuming operations very soon.
Safety standards and quality have been well taken care of by Bird as they have also declined offers coming in from other micro-mobility business companies like Tier Mobility who wished to buy the 10000 scooters taken off the road in the Middle East.
In the past few months, many scooters have been scrapped by the companies in the U.S., Canada, Middle East, and many other regions so they could cut costs amid the global pandemic that has affected businesses widely. Mobility has comparatively decreased over the last few months, but companies are looking forward to resuming operations as the new normal demands for micro-mobility options for users.
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