Scooter Economy

 

Have you ever wondered about the scooter economy? No, not that Scooter. We are talking about the electric scooters, which have largely supplanted undocked bicycles. The undocked bicycles were, themselves, a leap forward from docked bicycles. All of these transportation modes attack the “last mile” problem, with increasing efficacy. “Docked,” undocked,” “last mile,” what is all this about? Read on and marvel, or at least gain a nice break room, coffee shop, or dinner table story.

The last mile problem:

In transportation of persons, as in transmission of data, the last mile is the toughest challenge, and limits the efficiency of the entire system. Think back to when cable and telecommunications companies were racing to bury many thousands of miles of cable in literal pipelines. The pipelines shielded and allowed maintenance on the wire and fiber optic cables forming data infrastructure “pipelines.”

The companies, and customers, could not realize the full potential of this massive investment until these pipelines were properly connected into offices and residences. That is the last mile problem. Public transportation, and its promoters, has faced a similar problem. How do you connect people, without cars, to the beginning and end of the public transportation routes you hope they will use?

Planners have surveyed publics in multiple countries. It turns out that people will generally claim that they are willing to walk about a quarter mile to catch mass transit. So, how do you get past the quarter mile, to a last mile solution?

Would-be master public planners, obsessed with total control, have dreamed of inducing everything from housing to possible employment to cluster within short walking distance of iron rails and bus routes. As a limited concession to a stubbornly nonconforming public, they have long offered small shuttle buses, orbiting off of the master plan’s route. Neither the planned development, nor the limited loops, have significantly changed American populations’ behaviors.

What’s Up Dock?

For some years now, small fleets of bicycles have been locked to specially designated bike racks by u-locks. These racks are positioned next to mass transit stops and spots in urban areas where people without cars would find them useful. These bikes are “docked” in the sense that you pay to unlock them and then stop the meter by locking them again to a designated “docking” rack.

The docked bicycles are durable and comfortable for most people to ride. They come with a basket in which you could place items you were carrying in your hands. Within their defined parameters, these seem a good answer to the quarter-mile walk limit on mass transit interest, defined above.

On the other hand, you have to start and end, ultimately, at a docking station. The cost to the vendor limits ubiquitous deployment and easy adaptation to people’s actual behavior, their patterns of movement. So, you either really get it right with local market research or you fail to capture significant numbers of potential users. But why use a docking system at all?

Undocked Bicycles:

Entrepreneurs asked this question and came up with a far more flexible solution. Change the model from bikes limited to specified docks to bikes with a locking system on the rear tire. Unlock the bike with a signal from a smartphone app. Tell customers and vendors where the bikes are by GPS signal interpreted as a marker on a map in the app.

Now the customers were determining how bicycles would be distributed to meet their need. The undocked bike companies either hired crews or opened opportunities to independent piece work contractors. These people did maintenance and re-positioned the bikes in small groups to meet the pattern of demand.

A venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, explained their investment in LimeBike in this way:

Andreessen Horowitz is proud to announce our investment in LimeBike, which aims to bring the “smart” bike-rental revolution to the United States. First of all, “smart bikes” bring an important twist to their docked predecessors: The bikes themselves are enabled with GPS and wireless communication, and come with a remotely powered locking mechanism. Because of this, there’s no need for a dock; riders simply leave and lock the bikes at their destinations, where they become available to other users. And because the bikes are connected to a mobile application that provides bike management and in-app payment, consumers have a map that lets them know exactly where available bikes are located. Getting (and unlocking) a bike is as quick and easy as a few taps on your smartphone.

This system works so long as you have sufficient bicycles in the market to assure users that they can count on picking up a bike at their furthest point of travel. That is, if you are pedaling away from work, home, or a transportation hub, you need to have confidence that you can park the bike at shopping or entertainment, then walk out and find a bike waiting for your return trip.

Why pay per ride instead of buying your own bicycle? You need not worry about theft or vandalism or maintenance. You get a sturdy cruiser bike to go shopping, to entertainment, or from a mass transit hub to your school or job. The photograph above was taken from a canal path within bicycling distance of a university. Notice there are two color schemes, reflecting two competing dockless bike companies.

It was a fine idea, getting people to do a bit more exercise instead of riding in a car. What was not to like? Well, bikes were left all over the place, often blocking sidewalks. So, it was not long before college administrators and city hall struck back.

Edicts and ordinances came rolling out, restricting or effectively banning the dockless bikes. In response, the businesses refused to pay ruinous tribute. Soon the news stories changed from bikes blocking sidewalks to massive tangled piles of bikes left at the city dump. Atlas shrugged … sort of.

From Bikes to Scooters:

Bikes almost vanished midway through 2018. If you turned away for a moment and looked back in 2018, you found electric scooters had replaced bikes, some in the same colors, like Lime. Others were new. Bird flocked into the market in black and white plumage. Then came Uber and Lyft, linking scooters to their ride-share apps. Lyft went with a purple gradient theme. Uber’s play was a bright red brand of scooters and bikes: Jump.

This story from Nashville, about electric scooters was typical:

Like Uber or Lyft, Bird riders use an app to find the nearest electric scooter, then log in and start riding. Bird’s scooters are meant to be ridden in bike lanes, which is why the company gives local governments $1 per vehicle daily to reinvest in improved bike lanes. Once riders complete their trip, they’re supposed to leave their scooter on the sidewalk so the next user has easy access. All scooters are picked up at 8 p.m. each night by Bird employees to be recharged.

While some companies use employees, others use piece-work contractors to recharge, reposition, and in some cases fix the scooters.

The downsides of scooters are the same as bikes. People complain about them being left strewn across sidewalks, blocking pedestrians and those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Some cities in the Valley of the Sun are using old laws, aimed at heavier gas-powered scooters, to block e-scooters, at least until they can find a way to “regulate” them into submission to city hall.

College administrators have again postured against this expression of free enterprise amidst their ivory tower sinecures. College administrators have banned the new scooters for “safety” reasons, a claim controverted by the skateboard locking racks outside college buildings. The skateboard rack shown here is just outside a major university’s recreation center, a university that has banned electric scooters. Meanwhile, students, are ignoring the ban when they can grab a scooter on the way to where they are going. Students are the customers of both the universities and the ride-share scooter companies.

Another concern about the dockless mobility solutions, both bikes and scooters, is how they actually make money. Is this an attempt to make a profit strictly from riders’ mileage and time charges, or are they capitalizing on all the data they are gathering? When the question was put to several of the scooter companies, they denied they were exploiting user data, at least right now.

“There are no other revenue streams we’re interested in,” said Travis VanderZanden, CEO and founder of scooter company Bird. “We think our business model is renting the vehicle. We think that’s the best way to monetize the service. We will never advertise on the Birds and we would never share or sell customer data or anything silly like that.”

LimeBike’s Dreiman said ridership is “our primary revenue stream right now. We are exploring other revenue streams through partnerships, whether it’s advertising or partnering with other private companies. But right now because ridership is actually quite high, we’re able to run a sustainable business.“

Ofo’s Taylor said revenue in San Diego is coming “100 percent” from bike rentals. As far as data sharing, Taylor said, “That’s not something we’re interested in at this point.”

How long will that plan hold? Perhaps until shortly before borrowed money runs out, as these electric scooter companies face profitability challenges.

Bird and Lime, the two most dominant startups in the fast-growing (but still money-losing) dockless scooter game, both rely on independent contractors to collect and charge its scooters each night. Other companies, like Uber-owned Jump, use full-time employees to manage the ground operations.

Some stories posture the scooters as competing with drivers for Lyft and Uber. Bloomberg recently claimed:

People don’t pay much to rent a scooter for a mile or two, but remember the important difference compared to a car: There’s no driver in the equation when Lyft rents a scooter or bike, so the company keeps almost 100 percent of the fare. With a car ride, the driver effectively ends up with the majority of that money.

An Australian publication, Architecture and Design, better laid out the balance between drivers and scooters:

Uber is interested in e-scooters and e-bicycles because many of its ridesharing trips are short ones that could be made by e-scooters.

If Uber could shift its short-distance passengers from cars to e-scooters, it would be able to use fewer drivers and reduce operating costs. The remaining drivers would be transporting passengers over longer distances for higher fares.

The trips which people take with a scooter are not desirable fares for Uber and Lyft drivers. The distances are just too short to make a day’s fares, meeting the drivers’ expenses plus net earnings needed to make a go of it. So, in reality, the rideshare companies are adding a transportation mode without necessarily harming their drivers’ earnings.

Perhaps the largest challenge to breaking even and moving to profitability is the effective useful life of a scooter in heavy use. Segway is one of a couple of producers of the scooters these companies are using. Or rather, the Chinese firm Ninebot bought Segway and got into personal mobility:

Segway-Ninebot plans to join in the fun with its next-generation scooter, the Shared Scooter Model Max, which has been designed to reduce maintenance costs.

Shared scooters suffer a lot of wear and tear, shortening their lifespans on the street. The company designed the Model Max to handle complex shared usage scenarios, consumer overuse of vehicles, operation models, and maintenance costs. The scooter is built for weather resistance, operator customization, and rider comfort. Details will be provided later.

It has been about a year since the scooter explosion. They have not yet drawn the same level of ire from city hall as the much larger bicycles. Will they prove a viable solution for the last mile problem? Will we see a significant segment of the population scooting around town, singly and in groups, for years to come? What might be the alternatives?

In researching this piece, two songs kept playing in my mind. The first is by Queen. This is from their official channel, but NOT the original music video, which is not workplace friendly!

Naturally, the other song from a certain era, was “Bad Motor Scooter.”

What songs came to your mind as you read this post?

Published in Domestic Policy
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There are 68 comments.

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  1. James Lileks Contributor

    I’d never rent a bike, because I’m lazy and don’t want to end up at my destination soaked in sweat. But last year I was in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days, and took Bird scooters everywhere. Uber for the long trips, sure, but if time wasn’t an issue, 20 minutes on a Bird was vastly more enjoyable than sitting in a hired car. 

    I made a point every day of walking to supper for exercise – a reasonable trek west, over a bridge, off to a commercial node. But if I needed something at CVS in the afternoon, or wanted to hit a coffee shop, I’d just walk outside, point my phone at the Bird, jump on, and go. Here’s the thing: the last time I was there, no such option existed. Now they were ubiquitous, and I would leave the vehicle with A) no expectation it would be there when I returned, and B) there would be an identical vehicle within a few dozen yards that would let me complete my trip. 

    Bang! New modalities and expectations and assumptions, because capitalism. The only problems are A) jerkwads who ride like fools, B) lack of protected lanes that force many users on to sidewalks. There’s nothing you can do about A, but B is important. It’ll be fun to see cyclists push back against sharing their lanes with scooters. 

    Personally, I relish the hate. ;)

    • #1
    • April 4, 2019, at 10:14 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I’d never rent a bike, because I’m lazy and don’t want to end up at my destination soaked in sweat. But last year I was in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days, and took Bird scooters everywhere. Uber for the long trips, sure, but if time wasn’t an issue, 20 minutes on a Bird was vastly more enjoyable than sitting in a hired car.

    I made a point every day of walking to supper for exercise – a reasonable trek west, over a bridge, off to a commercial node. But if I needed something at CVS in the afternoon, or wanted to hit a coffee shop, I’d just walk outside, point my phone at the Bird, jump on, and go. Here’s the thing: the last time I was there, no such option existed. Now they were ubiquitous, and I would leave the vehicle with A) no expectation it would be there when I returned, and B) there would be an identical vehicle within a few dozen yards that would let me complete my trip.

    Bang! New modalities and expectations and assumptions, because capitalism. The only problems are A) jerkwads who ride like fools, B) lack of protected lanes that force many users on to sidewalks. There’s nothing you can do about A, but B is important. It’ll be fun to see cyclists push back against sharing their lanes with scooters.

    Personally, I relish the hate. ;)

    There was some talk of Bird building a fund to subsidize city construction of bike lanes.

    • #2
    • April 4, 2019, at 10:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. JosePluma Thatcher

    @spin did a recent post about scooters, with some research that showed they are pretty uneconomical. I hadn’t heard about the data mining possibility.

    In Austin, there’s a lot of discussion about them, including limiting the speed. There have also been several injuries and at least one death. There’s also this.

    Maybe I’m just devious, but every scooter contains a pretty powerful electric motor and battery, all sorts of electronic doo-dads, and a couple of pounds of recyclable metal. How long before someone figures out how to disassemble them and profit from the parts?

    • #3
    • April 4, 2019, at 11:12 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    JosePluma (View Comment):
    Maybe I’m just devious, but every scooter contains a pretty powerful electric motor and battery, all sorts of electronic doo-dads, and a couple of pounds of recyclable metal. How long before someone figures out how to disassemble them and profit from the parts?

    As far as that goes, wouldn’t we be lucky if that’s all they did? 

    • #4
    • April 4, 2019, at 11:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    JosePluma (View Comment):
    recent post about scooters

    Thanks, I missed that one. They are clearly not government subsidized “progressive pipedreams.” Rather, they are being funded by venture capital and, if anything, limited by city and especially college administration limitations. Students have been using skateboards for many years (decades) to deal with classes spread across large campuses. See the skateboard rack photographed above. This was taken outside the student rec center at a university that has banned scooters in the name of “safety.”

    Some cities in the Valley of the Sun are using old laws, aimed at heavier gas-powered scooters, to block e-scooters, at least until they can find a way to “regulate” them into submission to city hall.

    Meanwhile, students, are ignoring the ban when they can get a scooter on the way to where they are going. Students are the customers of both the universities and the ride-share scooter companies.

    • #5
    • April 5, 2019, at 12:25 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Judge Mental Member

    I would much prefer a Segway, but they’ve also largely banned those.

    • #6
    • April 5, 2019, at 12:28 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    I would much prefer a Segway, but they’ve also largely banned those.

    In fact, Segway is one of a couple of producers of the scooters these companies are using. Or rather,the Chinese firm Ninebot bought Segway and got into personal mobility:

    This past year, the scooter-sharing industry grew quickly, with investors pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into it.

    Segway-Ninebot plans to join in the fun with its next-generation scooter, the Shared Scooter Model Max, which has been designed to reduce maintenance costs.

    Shared scooters suffer a lot of wear and tear, shortening their lifespans on the street. The company designed the Model Max to handle complex shared usage scenarios, consumer overuse of vehicles, operation models, and maintenance costs. The scooter is built for weather resistance, operator customization, and rider comfort. Details will be provided later.

    • #7
    • April 5, 2019, at 12:42 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Maybe I’m just devious, but every scooter contains a pretty powerful electric motor and battery, all sorts of electronic doo-dads, and a couple of pounds of recyclable metal. How long before someone figures out how to disassemble them and profit from the parts?

    Since their areas overlap significantly with populations of homeless/ people without steady employment, you can bet some are being stripped by illegal scavengers.

    As to the Austin article, I noted:

    Davis said the motorized scooters, which included devices from a number of companies, were being placed behind the barricades temporarily and said they were handing them out to people who wanted to use them outside the pedestrian-only zones.

    Scooter, bike and skateboard regulations would remain in place through the end of the festival Sunday. He said he expected each of the companies to pick up their equipment to charge and place back out in the city following the festival.

    • #8
    • April 5, 2019, at 12:58 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Gary McVey Contributor

    They work here (Santa Monica) in a low crime, no crime environment with few hills, lots of space, and not much rain. Light rail arrived here in 2016 and all four bike/scooter vendors are represented there. Oddly, there was more of a problem with scooters all over the place in the fall of 2017 when Bird was still a novelty. The beach gets lots and lots of them too. 

    • #9
    • April 5, 2019, at 1:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    They work here (Santa Monica) in a low crime, no clime environment with few hills, lots of space, and not much rain. Light rail arrived here in 2016 and all four bike/scooter vendors are represented there. Oddly, there was more of a problem with scooters all over the place in the fall of 2017 when Bird was still a novelty. The beach gets lots and lots of them too.

    Conservative Mesa, AZ, not known for its business-friendliness, seems to be more open that other supposedly more forward thinking cities in the valley. A private college has been attracted to the downtown area, and the scooters help students move around apart from the light rail, which stops within a block in either direction of their small campus.

    • #10
    • April 5, 2019, at 1:14 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Guruforhire Member

    They only work in an area of largely conscientious people. Failing that its just a monetized litter company.

    • #11
    • April 5, 2019, at 4:50 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. PHCheese Member

    In most northern cities you need a dog sled six months out of the year.

    • #12
    • April 5, 2019, at 5:16 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Clifford A. Brown: College administrators have banned the new scooters for “safety” reasons, a claim controverted by the skateboard locking racks outside college buildings. The skateboard rack shown here is just outside a major university’s recreation center, a university that has banned electric scooters.

    Looking at that skateboard rack, it occurs to me a similar rack might be designed for foldable scooters. I’m not particularly sympathetic to the claim that using the scooters is a safety hazard because of their speed (riding on something with such small wheels makes it easy to pitch forward if you don’t know what you’re doing — ask me how I know), but storing scooters, even foldable ones, out and about wherever is a tripping hazard.

    JosePluma (View Comment):
    Maybe I’m just devious, but every scooter contains a pretty powerful electric motor and battery, all sorts of electronic doo-dads, and a couple of pounds of recyclable metal.

    Must a scooter be electric to make the last stage of a commute considerably easier? The people I know who use scooters for that purpose just use foot-powered ones.

    • #13
    • April 5, 2019, at 7:37 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Instugator Thatcher

    I have been working in DC about 1 week a month since last July. Mostly I get a hotel near the Metro and just ride it to about 1/4 mile away from where we are working. Last fall I began to notice the plethora of scooters and decided I would try it. 

    Love riding them. 

    So now, if the weather is good, I’ll ride the Metro a couple of stops go topside and ride the rest of the way to work.

    At the end of the day I’ll pick up a scooter near the metro and ride the 3 miles back to my hotel – about 20 minutes and a cost of about $4.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    riding on something with such small wheels makes it easy to pitch forward if you don’t know what you’re doing — ask me how I know

    I weigh in at 285, I wouldn’t know. Does make a nice sight, wearing my Indiana Jones hat and Australian bush jacket while riding in the bike lane of DC.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    but storing scooters, even foldable ones, out and about wherever is a tripping hazard.

    Park them out of the way. Most of the scooters I use require that you take a picture of them to show you parked them correctly – out of the path of foot traffic, on the sidewalk.

    I don’t like Bird – because they require that you load birdbucks with them and also require some sort of re-load. I stay with Skip, Bolt, or Lyft.

    • #14
    • April 5, 2019, at 9:16 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Instugator Thatcher

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Must a scooter be electric to make the last stage of a commute considerably easier?

    Yes. Foot powered scooters take effort and don’t coast far (except down hill) Uphill is a pain.

    I find that the electric assist is needed uphill, but on mostly flat or downhill works great.

    • #15
    • April 5, 2019, at 9:18 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. DonG Coolidge

    Great post. Scooting (as the kids say) is great way to get around a short distance, when there are no crowds. Society needs to catch up. We need infrastructure (Holland has spent 100 years building bike lanes.) and we need a culture change. Society needs to develop and inculcate norms for parking and interacting with cars, bikes, and pedestrians. I hate when scooters are going against the flow of traffic, it is just one more thing to look for as I drive about.

    • #16
    • April 5, 2019, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Instugator Thatcher

    DonG (View Comment):
    I hate when scooters are going against the flow of traffic, it is just one more thing to look for as I drive about.

    Most places I have been require powered scooters to adopt bicycle rules. Kick scooters ought to follow pedestrian and skater rules.

    • #17
    • April 5, 2019, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Miffed White Male Member

    Instugator (View Comment):

    I hate when scooters are going against the flow of traffic, it is just one more thing to look for as I drive about.

    Most places I have been require powered scooters to adopt bicycle rules.

    Around here it’s hard to get bikers to follow bicycle rules.

    • #18
    • April 5, 2019, at 10:26 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  19. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Excellent piece, @cliffordbrown.

    I’ve used both docked-and dockless bikes many times in the past year, and have also tried out Lime scooters in Seattle.

    I agree entirely that the problem with docked systems is that the docks really need to be placed in locations that are convenient both for pick-up and drop-off. On my current commute, there’s a convenient dock near the station I get off at. Unfortunately, the one nearest my office on the (for me) wrong side of a major cross street; crossing that street twice can nearly double the amount of time it takes and ruin the all the fun.

    Dockless bikes, as you say, overcome most of this problem, both because it makes drop off easier and because the gps data gives the company better information on where bikes should be placed.

    My main objection to Limebikes is that I very much do not like the bikes themselves; I find them fragile and rickety feeling. The docked bikes generally suffer from being too heavy, but at least they feel sturdy.

    • #19
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    In most northern cities you need a dog sled six months out of the year.

    Honestly, this is a major problem. Even if the systems do work in inclement weather, people are less likely to want to use them.

    • #20
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:09 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    I’m not particularly sympathetic to the claim that using the scooters is a safety hazard because of their speed

    I was surprised at how fast they go. On level ground with smooth pavement, I hit 15mph (according to the scooter’s speedometer), which is respectable bike-speed. Oddly, I found the smaller ones more stable than the large ones.

    • #21
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Clifford A. Brown:

    It was a fine idea, getting people to do a bit more exercise instead of riding in a car. What was not to like? Well, bikes were left all over the place, often blocking sidewalks. So, it was not long before college administrators and city hall struck back.

    At least in Seattle, I was required to photograph the final location of the bike/scooter in order to complete the transaction. Presuming that they use this to stop people from just leaving them around, it seems like a pretty good solution.

    • #22
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:14 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Judge Mental Member

    They should just do it right, and build slidewalks.

    (“Stand to the right, walk to the left.”)

    • #23
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:14 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I’d never rent a bike, because I’m lazy and don’t want to end up at my destination soaked in sweat. But last year I was in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days, and took Bird scooters everywhere. Uber for the long trips, sure, but if time wasn’t an issue, 20 minutes on a Bird was vastly more enjoyable than sitting in a hired car. 

    Lime also has electric-assist bikes in some locations. Those I rather liked, as the assist made hills much less of an issue and the weight of the battery actually made the bike feel sturdier.

     

    • #24
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Gary Robbins Reagan

    I chair the Flagstaff Transportation Commission. At our hearing on Wednesday, we are trying to develop rules about scooters and motor assisted bicycles, some of which can go up to 28 mph. (Most of these bicycles have electric and not gas motors, which is better for the environment, but don’t make noise to warn of their approach.) 

    Out consensus so far is that it is okay to ride them in highway bike lanes, and not on sidewalks. The sticking point is the F.U.T.S. or Flagstaff Urban Trail System which has 500 miles of 8 to 10 foot wide paths, half of which are paved and half of which are crushed rocks and which are used by pedestrians and non-motorized bicycles. We do not have a consensus about motorized bicycles on the F.U.T.S. The Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Bicycle Advisory Committee both report to us. As you can imagine, pedestrians and bicyclists have very different views about motor assisted bicycles.

    There is another issue with commercial rental outfits, that of people leaving their damn rental bikes and scooters in the middle of sidewalks where disabled folks trip over them.

    We will have another hearing on May 1st and I will report back after that.

    • #25
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:28 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    There is another issue with commercial rental outfits, that of people leaving their damn rental bikes and scooters in the middle of sidewalks where disabled folks trip over them.

    Again, I think some of the problem can be solved by requiring the user to upload a photograph the properly-parked bike/scooter to complete the transaction.

    • #26
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Judge Mental Member

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    There is another issue with commercial rental outfits, that of people leaving their damn rental bikes and scooters in the middle of sidewalks where disabled folks trip over them.

    Again, I think some of the problem can be solved by requiring the user to upload a photograph the properly-parked bike/scooter to complete the transaction.

    At some point, the Tide-pod eating, ice bucket challenging knuckleheads are going to come up with a “thing to do”, like parking them all on top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    • #27
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    At some point, the Tide-pod eating, ice bucket challenging knuckleheads are going to come up with a “thing to do”, like parking them all on top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Well, they’ll be doing it all with their own real identities.

    • #28
    • April 5, 2019, at 11:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Judge Mental Member

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    At some point, the Tide-pod eating, ice bucket challenging knuckleheads are going to come up with a “thing to do”, like parking them all on top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Well, they’ll be doing it all with their own real identities.

    We’re talking about people who set themselves on fire for a selfie.

    • #29
    • April 5, 2019, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Instugator Thatcher

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    some of which can go up to 28 mph.

    A reasonably fit bicyclist can hit 25MPH on a flat paved surface with a well equipped bicycle. If you allow those on the FUTS, then it should be a no brainer for electric. 

     

    • #30
    • April 5, 2019, at 12:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
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