E-Scooter Showdown

The newest trend in transportation takes the U of M by storm

You’ve seen them cruising down University Avenue, tossed haphazardly on a downtown curb, or perhaps even shared by a couple squeezed onto one tiny footbed. Bird, Lime, Skip, whichever one prefers. Here’s the premise: you locate a nearby scooter on its respective app, scan a QR code, connect a credit card, and the streets are yours - until its battery dies, that is. So, what’s all the excitement about? A University of Minnesota student gives the inside scoop.

 Illustration by Tessa Portuese

Illustration by Tessa Portuese

“For starters, Lime is my scooter of choice,” junior Robert Carreros says. “They’re almost twice as fast as their competitor’s scooters (Bird) and have a longer battery life.” According to the customer service reps from each company, both are capable of travelling at a zippy 15 miles-per-hour at full throttle. Not bad.

“Personally, I always wanted an electric scooter, but my mom would never let me go near one,” Carreros adds. “So having the opportunity to zip around on a scooter is sick, especially when my friends and I have to get to happy hour.”

These Razor scooters-on-steroids are evidently loads of fun, but not to mention, highly frowned upon in some cities. Since their advent, users have been reported riding illegally down sidewalks, parking on walkways, and maneuvering carelessly around pedestrians. Additionally, for quick, spur-of-the-moment joyrides, its less than likely that users are going to have helmets on-hand, worrying public safety officials that they’re putting both riders and pedestrians at risk.

Are e-scooters on their way to redefining micro mobility? Only time will tell if they will “scoot” under the radar or be put into hibernation before another 6-month winter, whichever comes first.

 

Wake Mag