How will electric scooters shape the future of commuting?
On the sidewalks and bicycle lanes in the UK, electric scooters have no right of way. In fact, the use of electric scooters was banned because of a 185-year-old law (the Highway Act of 1835). But as the government will tackle regulatory and security issues this month, the ban will be lifted soon.
London will join more than 100 other cities, including Paris, New York and Tel Aviv, to grant legal rights of way. At the same time, industrial design companies that popularize electric scooters worldwide are still in their infancy. Bird only appears in the Olympic Park because it is private land. Lime was established in 2017, and Lime has already operated an electric bicycle service in the capital. They all use a subscription business model. Travelers can use the APP to unlock on their smartphones for 25 pence per minute, plus an unlocking fee of £1.
Patrick Studener is Bird's vice president, responsible for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He said: "There is really no need for so much car transportation," he cited statistics from Transport for London (TfL), saying that two-thirds of the UK's cities are less than three miles away by car, and about 60% of them are one-way trips. . "Does it really require a one-ton vehicle to travel alone?"
This idea is very popular in Paris, and Lime and Bird arrived in Paris in the summer of 2018. Today, more than 20,000 electric scooters have swept the French capital.
According to statistics from Odosha College, 11% of Parisians ride electric scooters. Alan Clarke, Lime's UK policy director, said: “If there is such a high usage rate in London, it will play a huge role in reducing vehicle travel.”
In addition, Lime's internal survey last year showed that about a quarter of electric scooters in Paris replaced car trips. Clark said that given that there are almost as many deaths due to pollution as smoking deaths each year, and that London is the most polluted place in the UK, this is certainly not a bad thing. "This may be very important to improve air quality."
Lime and Bird know the reason why people use electric scooters from scooter design companies: enjoyment. Clark said: "People who commute to and from London for a long time know what it's like to take the subway during peak hours." Studener added: "Every time I get off Bird, I have a smile on my face."
This is perhaps the most critical point. By commoditizing really interesting things into public transportation, companies like Lime and Bird promise to be the holy grail of commuters: the commute trip that people really look forward to.