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.

3 minute read

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. 

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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. After a first career as a class five white water river guide in Trinity County in Northern California, James started his career in Los Angeles as a volunteer at a risk reduction center in Skid Row.

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