All posts in “E Scooter”

NYC might actually eventually allow e-scooters

Riding in NYC could eventually be a thing.
Riding in NYC could eventually be a thing.

Image: bob al-greene / mashable

New York City has been a holdout in the electric scooter craze, but after a city council hearing Wednesday, that could finally change.

The city’s Committee on Transportation introduced four bills concerning e-scooters and electric bicycles. Companies like Bird and Lime that rent out the motorized scooters haven’t been allowed to operate in the city’s five boroughs, despite a growing international presence.

The four bills include a pilot program for shared e-scooters and legalizing e-scooters that can only go  up to 15 mph. A similar bill would allow for the use of e-bikes with a max speed of 20 mph, while another creates a conversion program for throttle e-bikes to become pedal-assist e-bicycles.

Previously, a 2004 New York state law banned any motorized scooters. Last year, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio lightened up the rules with an exception for electric-assist bicycles that still require pedaling to move. This was seen as an overdue win for the courier and delivery-worker community that relies on the bicycle’s extra boost. The mayor isn’t the biggest fan of motorized vehicles zooming around the city. 

Now the fight moves onto e-scooters.

Council member Ydanis Rodriguez has been vocal about legalizing electric transit options, along with council members Rafael Espinal and Fernando Cabrera. The three members held a rally before the Wednesday meeting, where the four bills were introduced. 

The meeting went on for more than five hours weighing what seemed like every aspect of bringing in new motorized vehicles from charging infrastructure, to protected bike lanes, to the impact on congestion and the environment. 

A spokesperson for council member Rodriguez said this is the first meaningful step to allow the battery-powered devices on city streets.

Now that the council and community members were able to discuss the bills, the council will take more public comment and input from agencies and others involved in e-scooter legalization. It looks somewhat optimistic that e-scooters could be allowed in NYC — eventually, and likely with many caveats.

E-scooter company Lime is obviously eager to enter the new market and has a Manhattan event with its next generation e-scooter planned for later this week, noting it as a chance for “New Yorkers to experience the possibilities that Lime offers to everyone.” The Facebook invite says city leaders will attend.

Back in November, the package of e-vehicle bills were technically first introduced, but were held up until the state gave the go-ahead. Now that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has given the OK for cities to figure out for themselves what to do about e-scooters, NYC is doing just that. But until the state budget is passed later this year, NYC might have to wait before the electric vehicles start zooming around. 

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Lyft and Lime are rolling out new scooter models

Mama’s got a new set o’ wheels.

Cities with Lime and Lyft scooter share programs will soon see some new models scootin’ around the city. The companies are rolling out new designs in the coming weeks, which they will integrate into their fleets over time. Both of the models emphasize sturdier designs and company branding.

Lyft’s new scooters are Segway-Ninebot’s Shared Scooter Model Max, which are specifically designed for share scooter programs. They debuted at CES 2019, and Lyft will be the first company to employ the new model — Bird and other competitors also use Segway-Ninebot. 

In addition to longer battery life and a design meant to better withstand a lot of riding under many weather conditions, the wheels — like the Lyft mustache — will be pink.

Pretty cute.

Pretty cute.

Image: lyft

Lime showed off its Generation 3 scooter back in October, with similar features like bigger wheels and fancy upgrades such as the ability see if you’re in a no-parking zone. Now, the scooter company is ready to bring them to the streets, complete with accents of Lime’s signature green.

Scooter vs. Potholes: who wins?

Scooter vs. Potholes: who wins?

Image: Lime-S

With both new designs, there’s a clear emphasis on both safety and differentiation through design. Lyft is also adding scooter docks, so riders will have the option to park scooters in a designated location if they wish. That’s a move Lyft may have imported from the docked bike share company Motivate that it acquired in July 2018.

Neither company has shared what cities the new scooters will be coming to specifically, or when, beyond the coming weeks. Lyft declined to state what it would do with the old scooter models, and we’re still waiting to hear from Lime on that one. Hopefully, the old models won’t just end up on the garbage heap.

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Segway-Ninebot to show off new e-scooter, delivery robot

For anyone with enough open space to race against your friends, Segway-Ninebot has the product for you. 

On Thursday, the electric personal vehicle company known for its e-scooters used in share programs around the world unveiled a series of new machines to get around — or at least play around with. 

The line of “last-mile” transportation devices will be on view next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. E-Skates and a GoKart are some of the products that will be available to buy later this year after the show. A new electric scooter model and a delivery robot will be introduced for the first time.

The e-Skate Drift W1 — self-balancing electric-powered wheels you put under each foot — and the Ninebot GoKart Kit both raised millions through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The e-Skates, that even light up and last 45 minutes and push you along at a 7.5 mph max speed, were announced last year, but now they’re coming to the masses. The GoKart paired with a Ninebot S modified scooter base (that’s why it’s called a kit) lets users ride up to 15 mph. It too came out a few months ago, but only for those who pre-ordered.

E-Skates to awkwardly ride away.

E-Skates to awkwardly ride away.

Image: segway-ninebot

The Ninebot S can be used as a standalone device or paired with a GoKart kit.

The Ninebot S can be used as a standalone device or paired with a GoKart kit.

Image: segway-ninebot

A new battery-powered scooter intended for scooter-share companies like Lime and Bird is the Model Max. This new scooter is supposed to be more comfortable and last longer than other models and is highly customizable. It’s actually intended to be part of a fleet. More about the new scooter will be revealed next week.

A delivery robot for all your things.

A delivery robot for all your things.

Image: segway-ninebot

The Loomo robot transporter is another Indiegogo darling that’s now arriving as a delivery vehicle. The Loomo transporter isn’t rideable like its predecessor, but instead intended for food deliveries and package drop-offs to fuel our online-shopping addiction.

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Expect to see more variations of motorized scooters at CES 2019, like Razor’s EcoSmart bicycle-like scooter with huge wheels, a large frame, and padded seat and basket. The scooter reaches 15 mph and is available in San Diego, California and Tempe, Arizona, coming to additional U.S. cities after the electronics show.

The e-scooter craze is continuing into 2019 and promises to make a big showing at CES. 

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E-scooters get a lot of hate, but they’re sticking around

Electric scooters are spreading globally.
Electric scooters are spreading globally.

Image: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

It seems like decades ago that scooters first roamed free and wild all over. 

It’s really been about a year — it was just in the beginning of 2018 that e-scooters really started to drop into cities around the U.S. Even though some cities have cracked down on its scooter policies (hello, San Francisco and Santa Monica), the motorized vehicles are still here. In some places, you might even say they’re thriving.

A look back on the past year in scooters gives us a hint of where we’re going: more scooters in more places.

Lime’s end-of-the-year report from this week tells a pretty universal scooter story. People are downloading the apps to rent the devices and then taking a lot of rides. Since Lime launched 18 months ago, it’s reached 9 million app downloads. 

Its electric vehicles, bikes and scooters, are available in more than 100 cities in five continents. Its most recent additions are in Australia and New Zealand. Breaking it down even more, Lime’s had 26 million rides. 

Lyft joins the e-scooter craze.

Lyft joins the e-scooter craze.

Image: Lyft

It’s not just standalone scooter apps seeing success, though. Ride-hailing apps took a meaningful leap into scooters and e-bikes this year. Uber’s Jump acquisition lets it offer bicycles and scooters for rent on the app in several U.S. cities, Berlin, and soon even more cities throughout Europe. A partnership with Lime links the app to that company’s scooters.

Lyft scooters launched this year and acquired bike-share company Motivate. Last month Lyft put in $100 million into the bike-share system as part of the deal. Lyft plans on doubling the size of New York’s Citi Bike service area and tripling the number of bikes nationwide in the next five years.

So far Lyft has scooters in six cities: Denver, Santa Monica, Washington, D.C., Arlington, Austin, and Los Angeles. On Thursday morning, Lyft announced scooters coming to two more cities: Nashville and San Diego. Since kicking off in September, Lyft riders have ridden scooters more than 200,000 times.

Then there’s Bird, the company that really spurred the e-scooter trend. In the past year, it’s moved into more cities and last month offered the opportunity to run your own scooter network off their network. Bird is valued at $2 billion and rumored to be in talks with Uber. But who really knows?

One thing’s for certain: The scooters aren’t going anywhere.

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Lime e-scooters are everywhere, even Google Maps

Map out your scooter ride.
Map out your scooter ride.

Image: google maps / lime

Lime made it to Australia last month and Mexico City the month before. On Thursday, the motorized scooters dropped into Google Maps, inching us ever closer to e-scooter world domination.

On the Google Maps mobile app, a scooter option showing nearby Lime scooters will come up when mapping out directions on transit. The app will show if a scooter is available, how many others are nearby, how long it’ll take to walk to the scooter, and an estimate of how much your ride will cost.

In the U.S., Lime rides cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute.

Also consider a scooter.

Also consider a scooter.

Image: google maps

Clicking on the Lime option doesn’t mean you can rent a scooter straight through the navigation app. Instead, that opens up the standalone Lime app — and if you don’t have it, you’ll need to download it and sign up to use the e-scooters.

There’s also the safety issue of riders not having a helmet on them to ride the scooters if an impromptu trip comes up. Though, starting in January, adults in California can decide if they want to protect themselves on the motorized vehicles. 

Lime scooters on Google Maps is first available in Auckland, New Zealand; Austin; Baltimore; Brisbane, Australia; Dallas; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; San Diego; Oakland; San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, California; Scottsdale, Arizona, and Seattle. Google says more cities will offer the feature soon. More than 100 cities offer Lime vehicles like scooters and bicycles.

Like we said: world domination.

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