Ownership vs. Rideshare of Scooters


With scooter sharing services in over 40 U.S. cities and climbing, scooter chatter is everywhere and the debate over ownership vs. rideshare may be crossing your mind. As you can imagine, there are many pros and cons on each side. Participating in a scooter rideshare is a great way to help contribute to protecting the environment. Think of the carbon emissions we could lower by using a scooter rideshare or better yet, purchasing your very own. We could save time, money, and quite frankly a few headaches from dealing with traffic.

If scooter ridesharing hasn’t hit your city yet, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. As an alternative to traditional means of transportation, electric scooters may actually offer a quicker, more eco-friendly solution to getting around. So what does the scooter sharing model look like? How does it work? Is it a realistic approach and solution? What are people saying in cities that have already adopted the scooter sharing system? Is it worth the money to invest in your own electric scooter?

The Scooter-Sharing Vision

Scooter ridesharing offers a mode of short-term transportation, allowing the public to rent an electric scooter while aiming to make mobility more convenient, especially in urban areas. These electric scooter rentals can be unlocked and returned in various locations inside a service area rather than requiring it be returned to a designated location. Convenience for the user is a driving goal. Scooters are providing the ability to get more cars off the road, get more people outside, and provide an affordable and eco-friendly way to do both.

History

In 2012, Scoot Networks introduced San Francisco to their vision of scooter sharing services. Much like Lyft and Uber, Scoot offers a convenient mobile app for Android and Apple users with the ability to easily locate, reserve, and even start up your scooter rental within the app, as it acts as your key. With rental options by the hour or in some areas, through the work week, the phenomenon was born. 

Around 2017, scooter sharing began to pick up traction as Europe followed suit. In fact, by August 2018, the largest fleets by far were located in Paris, Berlin, and Madrid. Earlier in the summer of 2017, Revel introduced the very first scooter service to New York City. By the end of the year, cities including Washington D. C. and Los Angeles were utilizing services by the first dockless electric kick scooters.

 

Kick Scooters Start Controversy

With growth and popularity came competition and cities across the country began seeing kick scooter services pop up on sidewalks almost overnight. The sidewalks became lined with parked electric scooters, blocking pedestrians and storefronts. Riders took to the sidewalks instead of bike lanes, further escalating the situation. In an effort to regulate the scooter service explosion, San Francisco implemented the Powered Scooter Share Permit Program in an attempt to limit how many scooters a company could provide, as well as how many companies could offer the service in the city. Additional cities took similar action while cracking down on registration of the scooters and designating areas for use.

Rideshare Mania

As wrinkles were ironed out, the popularity of electric scooter riding sharing continued to explode. While some believed it promoted a healthier lifestyle by encouraging users to get out of their traffic-bound cars and into the fresh air, others still saw it as an eyesore in the city or a danger to users, pedestrians and drivers.

Safety

In September 2018, Dallas, Texas reported the first electric kick scooter fatality. Cause of death was ruled as blunt force injuries to the head, noting the 24-year-old user was not wearing a helmet. Ironically, California had just passed laws legalizing adult scooter use without a helmet and increasing electric scooter speed limits from 25mph to 35mph, just days prior to the death in Texas.

With users navigating electric scooters through the crowded sidewalks, pedestrians, and other unforeseen obstacles, including dangerously uneven sidewalks, the safety of everyone became an obvious concern. Yet even with scooter accident injuries on the rise, scooters were still gaining popularity.

While scooters lined the sidewalks and parks, taking up space and creating an eyesore for some, one company was creating a solution. Uber Scuuter introduced one of the first folding electric scooters with a top speed of 15mph and approximately 27 miles per charge.  The idea of owning a folding scooter creates a solution to help alleviate safety concerns by freeing up sidewalk space. They are conveniently compact so you can transport them in your trunk or store them in a small space. A folding scooter would help create a tremendous impact. By owning your own scooter, you help contribute to the control of where and how scooters are parked or stored.

Environmental Impact

Are you familiar with the “last-mile?” Think back to the last time you jumped in your car to run an errand within a mile or so of your home or work. How much time did you spend in traffic? At stop lights? Did you have to drive around looking for parking? Now think of all that CO2 you were burning just to travel a mile.

Now envision running out to your car on your lunch break and conveniently grabbing your folding scooter out of your trunk. Horns are blaring in the downtown traffic jam, parking is practically non-existent, but you’re already half-way to your lunch destination, saving time and the environment! 

In major cities across the US, these electric scooters are helping the environment in various ways. Scooters make an impact by getting additional cars off the roads and they don’t spew out carbon emissions.

Mobility When You Need It Most

Since the scooters are dockless, they are able to be left anywhere. No requirement to find the nearest charging station or drop off center. Very convenient, right? Have you ever stopped to wonder who is responsible for charging all these scooters every day though? Scooter rideshare companies came up with the idea to allow people to take the scooters home to charge them, in exchange for payment. Genius, right?

Let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute… imagine rushing out the door, late for an important presentation. You head towards the nearby area where you have grabbed a scooter every day for weeks. What if you happen to be that one unlucky person, who hops on the last scooter within eyesight, only to find it wasn’t charged last night? Having your own foldable electric scooter would sound pretty good to you, wouldn’t it? It would bring you peace of mind to know you always had transportation to rely on. No more looking around for the closest, unoccupied scooter. No more struggling to find a spot to squeeze it into if you happen to be visiting that one hot spot everyone in your city seems to be at. Just think of the convenience! It’s yours. Ride it. Fold it up. Charge it. Rinse and repeat. 

Are Scooters Cost-Efficient?

There are several ways we could look at and evaluate the question of the cost efficiency of scooter rideshares. First, let’s think about the costs that may be involved with maintaining electric scooters from a rideshare company standpoint. There is the initial cost of providing the scooters for the city and distributing them to different areas. For the companies that have set up programs allowing people to take them home and charge them in exchange for payment, roughly $9 to $12 a charge, this is another cost to consider. However, it’s a brilliant way to save the company the hassle, time, and money in the long run. Let’s also consider the quality and necessary care of the scooters. How often do they need to be repaired? What kind of maintenance will they need and how often? How often can one expect to have to take a scooter out of rotation for a repair or maintenance or possibly the need to completely replace it? Do all these costs add up to a long-term solution scooter rideshare users can depend on utilizing for years to come?

Now let’s turn the tables and look at it from the user’s perspective. Renting an electric scooter is appealing and for the most part, affordable, and convenient. So does it make more sense to own or rent one? Let’s play around with a few numbers, just for comparison sake. The current industry standard for a rideshare scooter rental is $1 to unlock it and $.15 per minute. We are going to assume a perspective scooter owner has a 15-minute ride to work, spends roughly 10 minutes on the scooter during the lunch hour, with a 15-minute ride home at the end of the day. Assuming we only calculate for a five-day workweek; no errands or extracurriculars, scooter rental fees would run approximately $140 a month. In one year, fees would total approximately $1680.

By owning your own electric scooter, you would have the cost the scooter in itself, electricity expenses for charging, and any possible repairs that may need during your ownership. As the owner of an Uber Scuuter Plus, your initial purchase would be under $1200. The cost of charging the scooter is estimated to be about half a kilowatt-hour of electricity, or five cents a charge. Not bad when you also take into consideration you are never left guessing if you will have transportation when you need it. There’s no need to wonder where it’s been, how it’s been treated, if it’s been charged, or needs any repairs.  You don’t even need to stress over who’s been on it (just in case you’re a germ-worrier too). The convenience of owning an Uber Scuuter Plus is simply undeniable.

What Are People Saying

Most users have shared positive experiences regarding the scooter rideshare in their area. The most often mentioned benefit was being able to easily find transportation that could get them to a destination that seemed too close to drive but just a little bit too far to want to walk. Others shared they felt scooter sharing had created a way to encourage more people to get out and about and enjoy the outdoors. In extremely congested areas, some expressed enjoying the lack of stress it has provided them by not having to sit impatiently in traffic or circle around endlessly for parking spaces that are nowhere to be found. The mobile app provided by the rideshare companies received ongoing praise for its ease of use and scooter location accuracy.

As we continue to see the use of scooter rideshares spread across the country, you may want to take a moment to think about how a foldable electric scooter could impact your lifestyle. If they are not already in your area, chances are, they will be soon. Would it simplify your life? Would it help cut down on gas, maintenance, or parking expenses? The benefits of owning an electric scooter can impact the whole family. Imagine how convenient and affordable it would be to send your child off to college with one. The luxury of getting around campus, paired with the money you can save by not sending them off with a car are pretty compelling reasons to invest in one!

While having access to scooter rideshare services is certainly beneficial, imagine the freedom of owning one. With our Uber Scooter Plus, you’ll enjoy a top speed of 15 mph with the ability to travel approximately 27 miles per charge. Our fold up design makes this scooter easy to take with you in the car, on the bus, or on the subway. It is compact enough to fit in a small office or apartment space, making it perfect for any situation. We know you’ll fall in love with amazing features the Scuuter offers such as quick charging, waterproof Bluetooth speaker, comfortable leather seats, USB ports, and more. So what are you waiting for? Place your order today and start simplifying your life!

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