Scooting across the U.S.A.

by Natalie M.


Have you ever been tired walking up and down streets everyday? Or ever wanted a way to travel without a car? Well, a start-up that originated in Los Angeles, called Bird, created a scooter transportation system.

After paying a dollar for the ride, every minute the scooter charges 15 cents. The scooters have an app so people can track where a specific scooter is and find it. Once someone has finished a ride, they can just leave the scooter at their destination so someone else can pick it up and scoot along their way.

This way of commuting is very popular at UCLA, after the advent of Bird there last month. These scooters follow similar laws as public bikers. Bird has moved south to San Diego, north to San Francisco, and even all the way up to Washington D.C. and east to Tennessee.

CEO, Travis VanderZanden, was inspired to “Save our sidewalks.” VanderZanden sent a letter to four other public vehicle sharing companies explaining that instead of throwing old broken bikes on to sidewalks, they could be reused by other people. He mentioned that some cities in China believed that sharing could prevent cluttered sidewalks.

Companies without exact parking zones include bike sharing. The bikes are parked in certain zones, like bike racks or sidewalks. The public vehicles have apps on your phone so people can be able to ride it.

Another one of his goals was to be more eco friendly, so the world doesn’t produce as much carbon emissions as it does currently and traffic is reduced.

VanderZanden and the other dockless companies take careful consideration that the streets aren’t to be filled with bikes and scooters either, because people have been complaining that the scooters clutter up the sidewalks. Thus, if the same vehicle is ridden roughly three times a day, they won’t add any more of them into the district.

VanderZanden claimed that he and the four companies all committed to giving $1 of each vehicles’ revenue a day into helping build bike lanes, ensuring safety, and sharing roads.

With complaints in mind of cluttered streets, there are still positive results, such as it is an inexpensive way of transportation that is still fast. So, will you be riding and supporting this business, or go against it?

See photo from “Electric scooters might revolutionize urban transport — if it wasn’t for stupid humans” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/04/19/electric-scooters-might-revolutionize-urban-transport-if-it-wasnt-for-stupid-humans/?utm_term=.a32bec035e83    

Sources: Bird.co, Washington Post, Reuters

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