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Why scooters may be more popular than bikes

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Why scooters may be more popular than bikes

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Old 09-02-18, 08:32 AM
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tandempower
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Why scooters may be more popular than bikes

With all the news about dockless sharing of e-scooters, it seems the public is happier to ride scooters than sit on a bicycle and pedal. At first this seemed counter-intuitive to me, since pedaling is an easy way to get a lot more speed and at least a little bit of exercise. What I realized, however, is that pedaling is annoying when you're wearing pants, and most people prioritize wearing pants over pedaling. Pedaling with long pants on stretches the legs of your pants. Standing and using an electric motor also means you don't have to sweat at all, which is bad in terms of getting exercise, but once again most people probably would rather exert as little effort as possible in their nice, pretty clothing than to get some exercise and thus sweat a bit.

Another aspect I thought of that might cause scooters to be more attractive as share vehicles is the fact you don't have to sit down on a shared seat. Idk how big a deal it is for most people to sit on a bike seat that someone else has sat on, but maybe the fact that you can stand up on a scooter is preferable.

Or maybe it's just the allure of the newness of scooters that makes them interesting, although they have been around in some form or another for as long as I can remember. Can you think of other reasons (e)-scooters might be more popular than bikes as dockless share vehicles?
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Old 09-02-18, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
With all the news about dockless sharing of e-scooters, it seems...
[SKIPPED the baseless conjuring]

Can you think of other reasons (e)-scooters might be more popular than bikes as dockless share vehicles?
There is almost zero quantitative evidence about the alleged popularity of so-called "dockless share vehicles" or shared scooters. Just a lot of breathless click bait chatter about how much money has been raised by the start-ups flooding city streets with the latest and greatest "thing" that will change the world.

The reason for the "all the news about dockless sharing of e-scooters" is that the techie writers for click bait media sites have tired of reporting about the imminent arrival of ready-for-prime-time self-driving cars; next month it will be something else that draws the gullible moths to the flame.

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Old 09-02-18, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
There is almost zero quantitative evidence about the alleged popularity of so-called "dockless share vehicles" or shared scooters. Just a lot of breathless click bait chatter about how much money has been raised by the start-ups flooding city streets with the latest and greatest "thing" that will change the world.

The reason for the "all the news about dockless sharing of e-scooters" is that the techie writers for click bait media sites have tired of reporting about the imminent arrival of ready-for-prime-time self-driving cars; next month it will be something else that draws the gullible moths to the flame.
So you're saying that all the scooter news about so many different cities is just made up and there are no scooters in those places?
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Old 09-02-18, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
So you're saying that all the scooter news about so many different cities is just made up and there are no scooters in those places?
Look up the definition of popularity.
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Old 09-02-18, 11:11 AM
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Scooters are nice because you don't have to worry about securing them. But the downsides are limited range, limited terrain (can't imagine going up or down a 10% grade, or on a potholed road), limited cargo capacity, and scooter forums aren't nearly as cool as bicycle forums.
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Old 09-02-18, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
So you're saying that all the scooter news about so many different cities is just made up and there are no scooters in those places?
I've never seen anybody commute on a scooter...For you to say that the general public prefers scooters instead of bicycles is utter nonsense. I wonder where you getting your facts from ??
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Old 09-02-18, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I wonder where you getting your facts from ??
Facts? Whatz dat? Some sort of negative thought pattern?
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Old 09-02-18, 12:25 PM
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The last time I was in Portland, they had an explosion of the dockless electric scooters.

I saw a few people riding them. I'm not sure of the actual distances. Maybe a mile or two. They were quite popular in the riverfront park (as were the bike share bikes), and I believe a couple of side-by-side pedal cars.

Lots of people ride bikes with pants... that can't be a major impediment to riding. I think more of the attraction of the e-scooters is technology, and not having to actually pedal. If they were renting a bunch of E-Bikes, those would undoubtedly be popular too (and probably dangerous as people would be riding in the parks at full speed).

One nice thing about the scooters (both manual and electric) is that they're light and compact. At home they can be folded up and shoved in a closet. For dockless rentals, a half dozen hardly take up any space.
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Old 09-02-18, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The last time I was in Portland, they had an explosion of the dockless electric scooters.

I saw a few people riding them.
Sounds like "popularity" is being measured by the number of scooters being dumped on the city by the start-ups. "A few people riding" doesn't sound like an explosion of popularity to me.
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Old 09-02-18, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The last time I was in Portland, they had an explosion of the dockless electric scooters.
I wouldn't have expected exploding scooters to be popular ... except maybe as gifts.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I think more of the attraction of the e-scooters is technology, and not having to actually pedal.
The answer is so simple, but some people are simply unwilling to imagine a world ... that actually exists.

PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO PEDAL.

The reason more people don't ride bikes is because they don't want to ride bikes. The fact that posters here Do want to ride bikes is irrelevant.

I am sure if we went to gun forums there would be people wondering, "Why doesn't everyone want to own and shoot guns?"

I am sure there are a Lot of people who ask, "Why do those idiots want to ride bicycles?"

But as far a why people don't cyclo-commute, or cycle to stores, or as to why powered scooters are more popular than bikes---People don't want to pedal. People don't want to do work on the way to work. People don't want to work up a sweat on the way to the store. People do not want that much physical exertion. When they (if they) do want physical exertion, they want it in forms they find more pleasing than riding a bike.

It is like opening a restaurant selling offal---and asking why people don't want to eat intestines. Some do ... but the number is very small. Some people think thyroids are a delicacy---most people think they are not food. Some people love ducks' feet or pigs' feet ... most people find them disgusting. If the restaurant owner cannot face reality he will face bankruptcy ... much as this thread is logically bankrupt.

Anyone who cannot understand really basic things ... doesn't want to. I think the OP qualified here.

People Do Not Want to Have to Exert Themselves for Recreation.

if they did, there would only be bike rentals, and no scooter rentals ... but everywhere I have every gone, the situation has been the opposite.

And having rented mopeds with some friends one time .. it is a lot of fun, being able to zip around maniacally through and around traffic, using sidewalk, alley, gutter, whatever ... and for the vast numbers of people who have never ridden motorcycles, people simply don't know the pleasure of traveling right out in the open, connected with the world, instead of seeing everything from inside a box through glass screens.

The real question here is, why does the OP regularly reject reality, and refuse to think in terms of other people, when asking about what other people think?

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Old 09-02-18, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Sounds like "popularity" is being measured by the number of scooters being dumped on the city by the start-ups. "A few people riding" doesn't sound like an explosion of popularity to me.
Hard to say. For any business, one would expect to have a certain amount of inventory on the shelf. The same would be true with a scooter business. Have to have enough sitting out on the sidewalks that one will be available for those who want one (or two or three), without having to hunt around town to find them.

Also, they have to be prepared for peak usage (commutes, weekends, lunchbreaks, etc).

The model likely is somewhat like scattering 1000 e-scooters around town. But, expecting 100 to be in use at any one time. Say 1 hour rentals, so for 6 hours a day, half hour rentals, those 100 scooters account for 1200 rentals... or using essentially the entire fleet.

Let's see... $1 + $0.15 per minute. Say it averages about $5 per rental. That comes up to about $6000 a day for those 1200 rentals.

Now, say the e-scooters cost $500 each. So, 1000 of them would be $500,000

'150 rental days a year... that would pay off the capital in about a half a year.

Plus, labor, charging, maintenance, and expenses.

A good number of them likely will be collected and stored over the winter (reducing wear related to weather), and should be pretty compact to store.

Ahhh... Bird Hunting.
https://therideshareguy.com/i-signed...at-its-like-2/
https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...siness/560747/

So, about $5 to recharge each Bird.

That could certainly add up in both revenue for the chargers, and expenses for the company.


I'm seeing charges might be good for 20 or 30 miles. What speed? At 7 MPH, that would be about 3 hours of continuous use to drain the battery.

They probably release scooters to be charged at say below 75% charge??? Anyway, contracting the charging sounds like a major expense depending on how much ride time between charges.
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Old 09-02-18, 02:32 PM
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I toyed with the idea of commuting on a scooter. Till I saw how dangerous it could be. I don't want the broken bones.
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Old 09-02-18, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Hard to say. For any business, one would expect to have a certain amount of inventory on the shelf. The same would be true with a scooter business. Have to have enough sitting out on the sidewalks that one will be available for those who want one (or two or three), without having to hunt around town to find them.

Also, they have to be prepared for peak usage (commutes, weekends, lunchbreaks, etc).

The model likely is somewhat like scattering 1000 e-scooters around town. But, expecting 100 to be in use at any one time. Say 1 hour rentals, so for 6 hours a day, half hour rentals, those 100 scooters account for 1200 rentals... or using essentially the entire fleet.
What makes you think 100 (or any other number of) rental scooters are in operation at any time, anywhere in the U.S.? Or that they have any specific number of paying customers? Because you saw a few in operation in a Portland riverfront park?

Have you seen any statistics about paying customers or rental earnings released by or about any of these start-up rental scooter outfits? I have only seen breathless reporting on how much they are allegedly "valued at" based on money invested by speculators/"investors", but nothing about earnings, expenses, or customers, let alone expectations or predictions of earning any profit now or in the future.
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Old 09-02-18, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What makes you think 100 (or any other number of) rental scooters are in operation at any time, anywhere in the U.S.? Or that they have any specific number of paying customers? Because you saw a few in operation in a Portland riverfront park?

Have you seen any statistics about paying customers or rental earnings released by or about any of these start-up rental scooter outfits? I have only seen breathless reporting on how much they are allegedly "valued at" based on money invested by speculators/"investors", but nothing about earnings, expenses, or customers, let alone expectations or predictions of earning any profit now or in the future.
Apparently the program was pretty new when I was up to Portland this summer, so that may have given them a bit of a boost.

Notes are that I think Portland was targeting around 2000 e-scooters distributed among 3 different vendors.

While I saw several of them in the riverfront park, I did also note several in use on downtown streets. And, I was only looking at the ones close to me.

Of course, I saw lots of Lime bikes parked in strategic areas. The Bird bikes... and was there another brand? They all seemed a bit more haphazardly located, as if they had been ridden and parked.

Also, the reports of charging seem to indicate the company only schedules pickups when they actually need to be charged, and at least in other communities, there are apparently quite a few people retrieving scooters to recharge.

Portland is apparently taxing the scooter rentals, so I would hope they will actually release data at the end of the summer.

Anyway, there seemed to be at least a fair amount of use, even if one sees quite a few just parked.

At some point, the better companies will build HEAT maps somewhat like Strava, and will position the scooters near where they are needed.
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Old 09-02-18, 04:50 PM
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They sure aren't popular here!
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Old 09-02-18, 05:25 PM
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A bunch of 'em dumped into any given city; flat ground; a few blocks within a city; electric, so no need for physical exertion; novelty; very low usage fees; no responsibility ... sure, for a few days/weeks, until they are trashed and/or the novelty wears off and/or winter sets in (where applicable) ... there will be some usage.

So what?

Such a lot of nonsense. What astounds me is that anyone at all takes these silly things seriously as legitimate forms of 'alternate transportation'.
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Old 09-02-18, 05:47 PM
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My buggy whip factory is also doing quite well , as is your, I see.
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Old 09-02-18, 06:22 PM
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Scooters are just toys for little kids and they're not even all that popular amongst kids, I only see kids on them occasionally. How do you do shopping and carry a bunch of groceries on a scooter, how practical would it be to commute 15 miles per day to work on a scooter ??....at least with a bicycle you can attach racks/panniers and carry things...Scooters are just toys for goofing around, I just don't see them as an alternative form of transportation.
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Old 09-02-18, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
They sure aren't popular here!

And one of the main reasons I think they aren't popular around here is because of our terrain. I rather doubt their little electric motors would get people very far up the hills in this area.


I have seen ONE adult using an adult-sized scooter here ... but I see all sorts of cyclists every day. The one person with a scooter that I've seen scooted a bit, then stopped and walked, then scooted a bit more, then walked another section ... and from my observations, she was scooting only slightly faster than walking ... about the pace of a slow jog.


These are, of course, people's own bicycles and likely her own scooter because we don't have bike-share programs here. There are some small bike rental options, but they usually operate only in summer.
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Old 09-02-18, 06:38 PM
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My very unscientific analysis of scooter numbers today, riding around NE Portland, is there were about as many scooters as bikes. They seem immensely popular to me, with users ranging from adolescents to office workers. I don't know what their speed limit is, but I'd guess far faster than 7 mph. We'll see what happens once the rain starts.

I see them all the way out in Gresham, 10 miles from downtown Portland. I don't know if they were ridden out here, carried on the Max, or seeded here. But they are being used.

My guess is, scooters are super easy to rent and ride. Quicker than walking, too.
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Old 09-02-18, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
My very unscientific analysis of scooter numbers today, riding around NE Portland, is there were about as many scooters as bikes. They seem immensely popular to me, with users ranging from adolescents to office workers. I don't know what their speed limit is, but I'd guess far faster than 7 mph. We'll see what happens once the rain starts.

I see them all the way out in Gresham, 10 miles from downtown Portland. I don't know if they were ridden out here, carried on the Max, or seeded here. But they are being used.

My guess is, scooters are super easy to rent and ride. Quicker than walking, too.
There seems to be confusion about the difference between counting numbers of rental scooters seen parked/dumped on the street/sidewalk/empty lot, and the number of people who actually pay to use them and how often they use them.

I wouldn't be surprised if a relative handful of people plan to use one for the "last mile" of a multi-mode commute when the weather is nice and they are not carrying any packages. I would be surprised if such a plan entails any reduction in ownership of any privately owned motor vehicles (or bicycles for that matter), since they are seldom kept and used exclusively for such a limited purpose.
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Old 09-02-18, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
There seems to be confusion about the difference between counting numbers of rental scooters seen parked/dumped on the street/sidewalk/empty lot, and the number of people who actually pay to use them and how often they use them.

I wouldn't be surprised if a relative handful of people plan to use one for the "last mile" of a multi-mode commute when the weather is nice and they are not carrying any packages. I would be surprised if such a plan entails any reduction in ownership of any privately owned motor vehicles (or bicycles for that matter), since they are seldom kept and used exclusively for such a limited purpose.
No confusion here. People riding scooters are pretty easy to spot, and there are plenty being ridden right now. The weather is also great.

As far as what will or will not happen in the future, where those people came from or are going, and how it might affect their transportation decisions, I have no idea nor do I have any preferences on the matter.
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Old 09-02-18, 09:33 PM
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Because Americans are fat and lazy and the though of doing anything that requires physical ability is terrifying to them?

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Old 09-03-18, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Because Americans are fat and lazy and the though of doing anything that requires physical ability is terrifying to them?

Got any pictures of fat people riding scooters?

Or pictures of many scooter customers of any size or shape for that matter that isn't along the beachfront or a staged shot for social media? IOW, going someplace other than just for a lark in the park?
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Old 09-03-18, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I've never seen anybody commute on a scooter...For you to say that the general public prefers scooters instead of bicycles is utter nonsense. I wonder where you getting your facts from ??
You're right, "the general public" is too vague a term that could refer to too many different interest groups and corporate-consumer market trends. Specifically I am referring the fact that these dockless e-scooter shares seem to be the big news in lots of cities. There have also been dockless share-bikes and share e-bikes, but those don't seem to generate the vandalism and regulatory uproar that the scooters are getting. So while I haven't been to these cities to see what's going on first hand, I am doing the math, so to speak, and assuming that they are gaining popularity quickly, hence all the ensuing problems.

That leads to me questioning why e-scooters and not bicycles. As I said in the OP, I prefer pedaling to pushing a scooter and then waiting until my rolling speed slows down to give another push. I like shifting gears to maintain the same consistent pedaling effort while upping my speed. But I reflected on what might be better about (e)scooters and I explained my 'findings' in the OP. Now you are here debating about the premises and causing an unnecessarily tedious extra discussion within the thread instead of just accepting the premise that a lot of people seem to be more interested in dockless e-scooters than bikes, so the question is why that would be. Is it really that hard to stick the premise of the OP?
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