Scooter Sharing May be Innovative, But it Comes at a Cost
After the trend of bike sharing, other start-up companies started to branch off this new idea of ride vehicle sharing but advertised it as not bikes, but scooters. There are many big scooter companies and they are rapidly spreading around the United States gaining popularity. Though, they still have one company to overrun, Citi Bikes. However, in the future putting these scooters onto the NYC streets will be a huge advancement in public transportation. Also changing street traffic and the pollution of NYC. It may also change the entire way students and teachers commute to school by allowing them to take a more environmentally friendly way to school.
The scooters work by the driver downloading an app, whichever company you want to ride, so that can mean either the classic, Bird, or other ones like Spin, Bolt, Lime, Skip, and Jump Bikes. Once you have the app connected to the scooter, all you have to do is let your phone scan the barcode that is often on the handlebars of the scooter and connect the two to let you go for a ride.
These scooters, do in fact have an upside, being completely electric they do not produce fumes like a car does, and keeps the environment safe. It also poses as a great way to get outside, and unlike Citi Bikes, it does not leave you sweaty and hot when you ride them. Another upside is that many companies offer random citizens in the city a job to take in the scooters every night, and charge them for a small amount of money. Another pro is that e-scooters come much cheaper than Citi Bikes, coming at $1 base and then 14 cents per minute.
There is also a downside for having no place to dock these scooters, with no designated path for them they are often seen driving on the sidewalk or even in bike lanes. Along with driving them unsafely, they come with no dock, so commuters often have to step over them as they walk or see them leaning against things. In one case in San Francisco, California, scooters are being thrown into the bay, needing a representative from the company to take it out. Another threat is that the scooters themselves do not come with helmets so safety of the rider, in one case in Dallas, Texas in September 2018, where he crashed a Lime scooter early in the morning, and later died, later, doctors labeled it a head injury and the man as it turns out was not wearing a helmet. Chase Holness, XIIIs says “I think it wouldn't be a good idea to have them in New York City because taxi drivers would hit you.” Chase drove Bird scooters on a trip to Maryland and thought that they were a great addition to the infrastructure. Willem Hale, also XIIIs saw these scooters being ridden in Austin, Texas and saw many scooters “on the grass and in the street, I even tripped on one.” Clearly, they are interfering with daily commuters, and they are a struggle to keep clean and safe on the streets. So, New York State is postponing any comment on whether scooters are being brought to NY.