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Thread: Scooter Rental Invasion

  1. #1
    Senior Member Spartan26's Avatar
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    Scooter Rental Invasion

    Earlier this year I was taking a couple of classes and saw a bunch of LIME SCOOTERS (Uber partner) for rent. I wasn't sure how the rental process and logistics worked. Like did you have to check them out from a specific place? Do you rent for the day? How much? Did you need an app or credit card? etc. I was surprised at the number of people on campus who had the manual ones. So much so that they had scooter racks at the entrance of buildings much like bike racks. But the Lime ones were motorized.

    Since then I've noticed a growing number of BIRD SCOOTERS for rent in other parts of LA. Just in the past month they've their numbers have significantly increased like dandelions after the rain. I still don't have the rundown on how the operation works but it seems you can just take 'em and leave 'em anywhere. Like, talked to someone who's used them. (I'm sure the first couple of times I'd feel a twinge of apprehension of taking one that someone was expecting to use for their trip home, heh.)

    Some small noise has been raised about them cluttering the sidewalks. People can't be bothered to kick them all the way to the curb and it's pissing some municipalities off. I was wondering has the motorized scooter rental craze hit your town? It definitely looks to get bigger. Have you or would you ever use one?

  2. #2
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    The bike-hire companies are just now pulling out of Sydney/Melbourne (I'm presuming these are the precursor models on which the scooter-hire companies are built).

    So there's a general question of whether this means that its more likely that the scooter-hire companies will be the next fad that arrives, or whether that means there's a barrier against it.

    They aren't here yet. I admit that it would make some sense for a city like Melbourne: as its inner area is generally flat and walkable. However, it wouldn't be immediately clear whether they should use bike-lanes, pedestrian space or roads, and given that we're already getting to have some of the city intersections where the question is beginning to be asked as to whether its too crowded and room should be taken back from cars, its not immediately clear how these would mix with heavy density pedestrians in practice. Naively one assumes that scooters would have to be cheaper than bikes, but on the other hand, you do have to pay for the electric motor + recharge/battery.

    Plus, we've still got the generally unsolved problem of what to do regarding people dumping them in the yarra, see pic:



    Edit: it will also be interesting to see if economic headwinds soak up some of the loose/crazy investment money sloshing around over the next few years.
    Last edited by ACow; 07-11-2018 at 04:24 AM.

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    Non-electric scooters have been a common sight in Vienna for about fifteen years now. When I returned from abroad, it struck me as quite curious to see grown-up men in suits riding those things and taking them on the subway. Kids use them, too.

    Electric scooters can be bought here starting from €200-300 upwards. I've lately been toying with the thought of buying one, especially since you don't need a licence for them. Problem: They're technically not legal to use here... and I imagine it isn't fun to get pulled over by the police and be admonished about it every other day.

  4. #4
    singularity precursor Limes's Avatar
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    Lime bicycles can be seen all over town in Wake Forest. Have not seen any scooters, which is good, don't be so fucking lazy, ride a bike!
    I've seen a few people on them, they aren't bad, even have a light and a bell. Seems straightforward, first ride free, then $1 per rental.
    I might try one out once the weather cools down.
    Last edited by Limes; 07-11-2018 at 08:58 AM.

  5. #5
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    @ACow

    What the...???? People dump bicycles? What?

    My mind is boggled.
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  6. #6
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    @ACow

    What the...???? People dump bicycles? What?

    My mind is boggled.
    Oh yeah. They effectively just appeared overnight one day all around the city.

    For context, we've already had the docked bike-shares for like 8 years now. People haven't generally minded those.



    , but then obike (one of the companies from singapore) turned up with the dockless bike-shares.

    Soon enough, they started being left everywhere and people realised that the whole thing about bikes you don't own and don't care about and don't have logical homes can naturally be...well...left anywhere. And whether through creativity, destructiveness, or protest at the urban blight/polution, people then figure that if you don't care about an unlocked bike you can pretty much just pick it up and do whatever you want with it. A large number of people apparently felt that involved dropping them into the river that runs through the middle of town, and into the lakes in the city parks.

    Being in my neighbourhood, i saw these ones with my own eyes:





    See little video on my local situation here:



    And the general overall phenomenon from asia, which as I've said, I consider the logical precursor of the scooter-hire phenomenon. Why china doesn't lash trump-esque tariffs on the US companies for not paying their dues for stealing intellectual property from asian companies who knows!



    Melbourne has just introduced $3000 fines for the companies leaving their rental bikes around in unwanted places for more than a couple of hours, and (frankly unrelated) obike has now declared bankruptcy and is leaving melbourne.

    Any scooter-rental scheme would now likely soon be covered under the same environmental laws here, and I'm guessing that would run the real risk of making these things unprofitable...

    ...if these companies are actually making any money in the first place.

    Slanderous uneducated generalised opinion follows: it seems the general modus operandii of these companies seems to be get investor/vc money, dump the things on the street, then worry about little things like profitability/legal consequences later.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Slanderous uneducated generalised opinion follows: it seems the general modus operandii of these companies seems to be get investor/vc money, dump the things on the street, then worry about little things like profitability/legal consequences later.
    I think you have the right of it. It seems v/c investors are pretty content to let start ups blow their money just hoping for that one "next big thing" that will make them billions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Spartan26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post

    That is just glorious! It's nice to know there are still good people out there who still care.


    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    ...if these companies are actually making any money in the first place.
    I know some companies here in the US are launching some heavy investment plans. They just want your info to sell. (which reminds me of a thread I've been meaning to start. ha!)

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