Scooter Media Brief: Electric Scooters Emerge Victorious in the Dockless Bike Share Game

At the beginning of 2017, few people in the United States could have predicted the quick rise to prominence of dockless bike share companies. Even fewer could have predicted what would happen next.

Read Time: 3 minutes

April 10, 2019, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


San Francisco Bike Lane

Toshifumi Hotchi / Shutterstock

At first, the signs of the electric scooter revolution were apparent in a few progressive-leaning corners of the country. It might be hard at this point to recall, despite the relatively recent history of the events described here, but electric scooters followed shortly after a wave of dockless bike share expansion. Just a few months earlier, dockless bike share seemed like an alien concept. The first reports from China told massive piles of misused dockless bikes, a blight that had once been for rent.

Once the electric scooters started showing up on streets all over the country, however, the dockless revolution finally had teeth in the United States. Now, finally, electric scooters have taken a bite of their forebears. Katie Pyzyk reports that dockless bike share companies are quietly ditching the bikes in favor of scooters. No one could have predicted such a conclusion for this particularly story. The swift pace of these sea changing events are enough to make one wonder if more change is sure to follow, and soon.

Here's the latest from the world of electric scooters. If you're looking for more on how this shocking tale of alternative transportation market disruption played out, see the Planetizen archive of electric scooter media briefs dating back to mid-2018. 

National Commentary

National News

Local News

Local Commentary


James Brasuell

James Brasuell is a writer and editor, producing web, print, and video content on the subjects of planning, urbanism, and mobility. James has managed all editorial content and direction for Planetizen since 2014 and was promoted to editorial director in 2021.

Books

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2022

An annual list of the must-read books related to urban planning and its intersecting fields.

November 28, 2022 - James Brasuell

Urban separated bike lane with street trees on one side and cars parked on the other

How Urban Trees Save Lives

New research shows a strong connection between a healthy urban tree canopy and lowered mortality rates.

December 1, 2022 - Congress For New Urbanism

Alaska

Anchorage Eliminates Parking Requirements Citywide

Anchorage is the latest city to enact sweeping parking reforms, in another blow to the car-centric status quo of planning.

November 23, 2022 - Anchorage Daily News

Rendering of Van Ness Avenue with Bus Rapid Transit

Some States Use More Highway Funding for Transit Than Others

A news study brings the receipts on state and regional transportation spending.

December 2 - TransitCenter

Station with rown of red Capital Bikeshare parked bikes on Washington, D.C. sidewalk

Bikeshare Ridership Up From Pre-Pandemic Levels

Shared micromobility, particularly docked bikeshare systems, are seeing record growth, but ‘scooter inflation’ may cool riders’ enthusiasm.

December 2 - Bloomberg CityLab

Metro Bus

Free Rides, Overnight Service Considered for Metro Transit in D.C.

Washington, D.C. councilmembers are making a bold commitment to public transit.

December 2 - The Washington Post

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.