Two-wheel mobility in San Francisco... with or without Bird, Spin or LimeBike electric scooters?

The sharing economy is everything. Share bikes, scooters (motor scooters), electric bikes and now electric scooters (the truth is that it is confusing since it is the same word for 2 different things).


For a few weeks now (we saw the first Bird scooters standing on the sidewalk at the Civic Center when heading to March for our Lives), rental scooters have been dropped in San Francisco by companies like Bird, LimeBike  or Spin. Have you tried them yet ? If you have not, it might be too late already. 



Despite its hills and steep streets, San Francisco is definitely a city of cyclists and bike riders. Bay Area Bike Share started in 2013. It recently became Ford GoBike and extended its fleet at the same time as well as the number of cities where it is available.



The system has suppoters and detractors : fares, design, less parking spots, excessive gentrification... But it is not our point. That said, we think that bikes are better than cars for our environment and health.




Then the company Scoot showed up with its fleet of scooters (like the ones in the above picture). Silent, practical and convenient. Scoot is also considering offering electric bikes.




But in that area, Jump is the one that really made a difference lately. It really looks and sounds like a success. The design is great, no docks required (users can attach the bikes to existing racks with the strong U lock that each bike is equiped with) and the practicality to go over hills without sweating is definitely a plus.


They all have a permit from the city to operate business.



The latest ones are the electric scooters by Bird, LimeBike or Spin. The idea is great at the first sight: cheap fares, easy to handle, freedom to go here and there without the traffic burden... 



Actually, a great idea that will most probably need many adjustments. On April 16, 2018 (it took barely a month to issue it), the city sent a ''cease-and-desist order'' letter to those companies. Too many scooters were found parked (rather randomly left behind) here and there blocking sidewalks or buildings entrances.



''State law prohibits riding motorized scooters on any sidewalk and requires operators to have a valid driver license and wear a helmet.''



Said like this, that makes sense. Still, it possibly remains a great idea that many users appreciated in the last few weeks. Some rules and regulations, and maybe some civic-mindedness and civilities should help solve the problem.



What about one-wheels rental services? Just kidding... then, pedestrians will definitely need helmets!