Scooters troubles and proposed solutions



Found on the Columbia Missourian

Jacob Fox, Senior Staff Writer

The city of Indianapolis has recently introduced public scooters and bikes as an alternative form of travel, which some locals are not happy about.
Users are often reckless, with one case resulting in the death of a 24-year-old man. According to the Washington Post a bike dock in Washington has lost 50 percent of their bikes to vandalism.
Indianapolis is not the only one complaining, with many cities considering banning them. According to the San Francisco Chronicles both Austin, Texas and Santa Monica, California have already placed ordinances against scooters.
“If they’re blocking an ADA ramp, if they’re blocking a sidewalk, if they’re blocking access ways somewhere that makes it unsafe for other people who are walking along and could run into them.” Indiana University spokesman Chuck Carney told Rtv6 news.
Others argue that banning the bikes and scooters would be a huge mistake. The original intent of these transportation alternatives was to cut down on carbon emissions, which is an especially prevalent pollutant in large cities. Another common argument is that many drivers act equally unsafe, and that it would be unfair to remove them because of these individuals. Supporters also point out the financial benefits of keeping the scooters.
“Bird’s ability to scale revenue with no paid customer acquisition has been incredible.” Raj Ganguly told “It is one of the fastest growing consumer companies, which is incredible considering it is a physical product, and not software which you can scale with much lower marginal cost. Ultimately, Bird has the potential to completely change how we think about short-distance mobility.”
There are petitions for both sides of the argument, though there seems to be more requesting that the alternatives stay. When searching for these petitions on Change.Org there are up to 14 demanding that they stay, while there is only two at most requesting their removal.
Rather than banning the alternatives all together some people have suggested placing regulations on them. Among the proposed rules are forcing users to use sidewalks or special lanes, requiring users to wear helmets and holding them to the same standards that pedestrians are held to.
Louisville, Kentucky reportedly extended a trial session with the scooters, according to Insider Louisville. There is expected to be up to 100 scooters in operation throughout the city.