San Francisco was recently bombarded by three electric scooter rental companies. Literally thousands of scooters have been dumped all over the city. You either love them or hate them, and some people really do hate them. I’ve seen pictures in the news of scooters that have been tossed in trees, thrown into the bay, stuffed into garbage cans, left toppled over, have had cords cut, have had QR codes removed to render them useless, and shat on. Like people have actually pooped on them. Electric scooter rentals are a new thing so a lot of the users are riding them on sidewalks, endangering pedestrians and dogs out on walks. They leave them parked in random spots, blocking the way for disabled people. They have been decried as a public nuisance.
But the scooters are a great alternative form of transportation in the city. It’s cheaper than a Lyft or Uber for short distances. There’s not much polluting involved. And it’s a fun way of getting from Point A to Point B. My friend started riding them about a week ago, he made a good enough sales pitch for me to download Bird and LimeBike. The apps sat dormant for a few days until tonight. I had to transfer buses on the way home and the next bus was sixteen minutes away. So I got pissed and jumped on my skateboard towards home. I passed by a LimeBike scooter and I took that as a sign to try new things. I jumped off my board and opened the LimeBike app. It accessed my camera and asked me to scan the QR code. I did. Then it asked me to activate the scooter by paying with ApplePay. I pressed my thumb on the sensor and the scooter came to life. It was that easy. There was a safety light in the back and a little headlight in the front. It wasn’t bright enough to see where you’re going, but it’s enough to keep cars from slamming into you. There was a speedometer that told me I was going about fifteen miles per hour. It took less than a minute to get used to the scooter. I was able to drive it with my longboard hanging from my left arm, a bag of groceries on my right shoulder, and my backpack of work stuff without any problems. I was able to go about a mile in eight minutes and it only cost me $1.20. Maybe there was a promotion or coupon added automatically but it was totally worth it. I’ll ride an electric scooter again. I encourage you to ride one too.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young