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Scooter Media Brief: Safety, Security, and Business Models Raise Concerns

Recent news has revealed some cracks in the pavement below the speedy wheels of electric scooter share.
James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell | March 13, 2019, 9am PDT
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John Dvorak

The last time Planetizen checked in with the world of electric scooter news, at the end of January 2019, it seemed possible to discern political and public support coalescing around the idea that electric scooters were here to stay.

It's harder to make that prediction in the middle of March 2019. Market conditions are changing as quickly as the pavement on any given street or sidewalk block in Los Angeles. 

A few narratives stick out from the many, many articles we gathered over the course of the past month and a half, and the chatter we've been monitoring on social media. First, concern persists about the physical safety of people who ride electric scooters. Second, there have been a couple of occasions to raise concerns about the security of scooter technology, both with the operation of scooters and the privacy of users. Finally, the electric scooter business is heavily reliant on subsidies from venture capital funding. The business model isn't exactly sustainable at its current prices, and we're only beginning to hear about the long-term viability of these companies. These issues are shared with transportation network companies, which have been busy buying out scooter and bike rental companies.  

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