The new public transportation
I was first introduced to the concept of city wide scooters almost two years ago. Shiny green and black scooters filling the bike racks and free spaces of city streets made me wonder who was leaving their property out for anyone to take. Then I went closer and saw the instructions. Download an app, load some money onto it, and ride away.
Lime and Bird are the two I’ve seen the most in cities. With the popularity of motorized scooters growing, I’m sure more companies will be jumping on the bandwagon.
How they work
Both types of scooters require an app download on your smartphone. From there you can locate a scooter within a certain radius. After loading funds onto the app, you can scan the QR code on your chosen scooter and take off. The scooter will then charge you based on how far you go. It isn’t expensive either. The last time I checked, Lime was a dollar a mile. Not bad for a quick way to go a few city blocks.
These scooters run on battery power and each company employs people like you and me to drive around charging up the motors. The battery life is monitored, but there’s in app support if you happen to get one that isn’t working how it should.
There are some downsides to these handy little scooters. I wouldn’t recommend them if you have more than a backpack worth of luggage with you. There’s enough room for your feet, but not much else. They also wouldn’t be good for anyone with balance issues as they rely on you maintaining balance. They do go faster than you’d think, so making sure you’re able to physically handle the scooter is important.
Additionally, there are so many scooters finding their way onto city streets, that pedestrians are beginning to complain about the prevalence of them in walking areas. The app tells you to be wary of pedestrians, but it’s easy to clip someone on a busy city street.
There’s also the issue of parking. Pay to ride scooters like Lime and Bird are taking up the extra space on sidewalks and in bike racks. The idea is that they aren’t supposed to be there long enough to be a bother, but that isn’t always the case.
There are a lot of positive aspects of motorized scooters as well. They make cities much more accessible without having to rely on higher paid transportation like a ride share service or public transport. Since the scooters are battery operated, they run on clean energy reducing the amount of carbon emissions for transportation.
Scooters are a great way to see a city for a much lower price. They also allow you into places that cars or buses can’t reach. Want to zip around Central Park in a day? A scooter is the way to go. Have an urge to see all the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Take a scooter.
People of all ages can use scooters as well. All it takes is a little bit of balance and a penchant for fun, and you’re off.
So what are you waiting for? The next time you’re out and about, download the apps and find the quick and fun scooters that are waiting for you.
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