What is the deal with the rental scooter craze? I first heard about these offerings by companies like Lime, Bird, Scoot, Skip and others a while back and was amused but not really interested. That is, not until I heard about the controversy.

So what can be so controversial about a scooter that you can rent for a couple bucks and drop off anywhere? It turns out that the push against these scooter offerings is partly because of inexperienced riders and poor etiquette but also from governments looking to get a piece of the action.

Yes, there are injuries… there are injuries walking, riding bikes and driving cars.  Yes, there are turds that leave them blocking doorways and in walkways. There are some rules:

Riders have to be at least 18, wear a helmet (their own helmet) and avoid riding on the sidewalk. To rent one, users download an app and pay $1, plus 15 cents a minute for the ride. They can leave them anywhere when they are finished.

San Francisco outlawed them initially but finally gave permits to a couple of companies, but not Bird and Lime (who launched without city approval.) It seems that some of the most liberal cities in the country are the most upset about these companies and fighting hard to curtail their business.

I get it. The idea that my company can just drop off my products all over public property without any push back is pretty ballsy. But, in these cities with some of the worst traffic issues in the country, it seems like a good fit.

I just wish there was a way to launch something like this in conjunction with a city – but without all the red-tape, bribery and politicking involved in doing things the right way.

What is your experience with these scooters?

by Chris Doelle

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