The dockless scooters, which drivers can rent with a smartphone app and park almost anywhere, have been polarized after turning up last summer in an emergency. Transit advocates welcomed the ease of use of scooters and their potential to reduce congestion by providing an alternative to short-drive cars and taxis. Critics complained about riders racing through sidewalks and parked scooters flattening cities. And hospitals have experienced a surge in scooter injuries.
The scooter operators aggressively expanded by making use of the giant giants of Uber and Lyft's playbooks in September), often fleets in cities, before obtaining permits in the hope that drivers would push local politicians to do so to make their use greener.
This approach has paid off. Bird and Lime, the two largest operators, each reached $ 1
The city governments also came across it. Several cities, including San Francisco, Austin, Texas, and Indianapolis, either ban scooters directly or issue injunctions before implementing limited pilot programs. In January, accessibility advocates sued the city of San Diego and three e-scooter companies for threatening vehicles on sidewalks offered to the disabled. Also in January, Denver introduced a ruling that scooter riders should only drive on the road.
However, the scooters were popular in public. Drivers in Santa Monica, California, who introduced a scooter pilot in the fall of 2018, made 150,000 trips in November 2018. In Denver, a poll by the city's Public Works Bureau found that 55 percent of respondents had a positive opinion about scooters.
The scooter manufacturers have since been oriented abroad. Bird, Lime and an e-scooter company founded in 2011 named Scoot were founded in cities in Europe and Latin America. Bird was launched in Tel Aviv, Israel, while Lime already worked in Australia and New Zealand.
Bird has also announced its intention to invest in public cycle paths. In August, the company announced plans to fund sheltered cycle paths in the sites. And in January, TechCrunch said Travis VanderZanden, Chief Executive of Bird, told an audience at a technology conference in Los Angeles that he would probably focus more on infrastructure in 2019.
"The deeper I get into the transport industry, the more I realize I do not need autonomous vehicles, we do not need tunnels, all we need is more bike paths," said VanderZanden.