Dockless Electric Scooter Share on the Rise

Limebike and Bird are mobility companies currently offering ride share for electric scooters in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, respectively.
March 21, 2018, 2pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Hangzhou InnoMake Technology scooters are on display durning the Beijing International Bicycle and Spare Parts Exhibition 2017.
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Stand-up electric scooters aren't a new idea, but some think that a bike sharing model will take them mainstream. These scooters, which sell for between $200-$600, are already available for dockless sharing in some American cities. "LimeBike, one of several firms operating docklessly in Washington, D.C., unleashed a fleet of electric-assist scooters in the nation’s capital this week, marking the scooter-share’s East Coast debut," Andrew Small reports for CityLab.

Small says that these scooters are reminiscent of the Razor Scooters of days past with some notable improvements. "This grown-up version boasts solid rubber tires, a kickstand, and—perhaps most importantly for adults—an electric-assist throttle on the handlebars, which allows riders to zip alongside their pedal-driven brethren at speeds of 10 to 15 mph," Small writes.

Why would anyone want to ride a scooter when they could just bike? "The electric glide’s stand-up stance is easier on business attire, compared to a traditional bicycle," Small argues. He goes on to suggest that while these may be open to some ridicule now, people made the same comments about bike share when it was introduced in the United States. Similar scooter optimism was on full display at the recent Shared Use Summit.

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Published on Friday, March 16, 2018 in City Lab
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