The Speedy Rise of the Electric Scooter

A new trend is taking the world by storm, and this time, it’s in the form of transportation. The rise of electrical means of transportation has been a noticeable theme throughout 2018. One particular device that's skyrocketed this year is the electric scooter. The E-scooters have become increasingly prominent on college campuses and small towns for easier, more efficient, and less physically demanding forms of travel. But now the electric scooter is taking on an even larger role in our ever changing society. The city of San Francisco just announced a one year pilot program to restore and legalize electric scooters after they had previously been banned.

The price of an electric scooter can range anywhere from $300 to $1000; more technologically advanced models can have even higher costs. The number of specifications that companies can include on their scooters is also increasing at an unprecedented rate. Some of the top scooter brands leading the way in new technology include Razor, the infamous scooter brand, and Lime, an up and coming name in the world of E-scooters. Lime just revealed a new E-scooter: the Lime-S Generation 3. This device features a ton of specifications no one would have ever thought a scooter could have had twenty years ago, including a color LED screen that reports feedback, a front wheel with suspension, and a multi-modal braking system. On top of these features, these scooters can travel up to thirty miles per hour. These scooters are becoming the device to beat when it comes to electrical transportation.

These machines are making advances in popularity at a rate that has even caught government attention. The city of San Francisco had previously put a ban on electric scooters in June 2018 after observing potentially dangerous situations. Not only was there illegal use on sidewalks or roads, along with congestions and chaos among both pedestrians and vehicles, but also, these scooters were being left astray when not in use. The city ordered any abandoned scooters to be impounded and prevented anyone from riding them on public grounds-- nearly 500 scooters were seized. The scooters were banned until a permit was obtained to allow their presence.

However, just this October, after obtaining permits legalizing their presence, some brands of the scooters were able to return to the city on a one-year-long trial period in which government officials will monitor whether users are able to responsibly and safely use these machines.

Unfortunately, reports show that many users are falling into the same habits, such as leaving scooters unattended or driving unsafely. There is also fear of potential injury as many riders do not realize the tragedy that can occur from falling off a vehicle traveling at thirty miles per hour. The fate of this pilot program remains unclear, but the scooter users have just a few more months to shape up if they want to keep their scooters in their city.

In the long run, I can only predict the popularity of these scooters will increase as technology advances and prices decrease. If regulated correctly, I believe that these devices can be just as manageable as a normal scooter, bike, or skateboard. It will just take time for the transition to be made.