Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Detroit now has two electric scooter services

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 10:50 AM

click to enlarge LEE DEVITO
  • Lee DeVito

The Motor City might as well be the Scooter City, with not one but two electric scooter services now available for tech-savvy Detroiters.

On Tuesday, dozens of the electric scooters from tech company Lime appeared on Detroit streets. The scooters join those from Bird, a rival company which deployed its scooters in Detroit at the end of July. They're both part of an electric scooter craze sweeping cities across the country right now.



Like Bird, to ride you can use a smartphone to locate and unlock a scooter by downloading the company's app. (However, you can also ride the scooters without a smartphone by purchasing Lime credit through an affordability program called Lime Access.) Also like Bird, it's $1 to start and $0.15 per minute to ride. Both scooters have top speeds of 15 miles per hour. You have to be 18 or older, have a driver's license, and follow local traffic laws. In Michigan, that means wearing a helmet, but no one really does. You can ride on the sidewalk "only when doing so presents a low risk of disturbance to pedestrians," per city guidelines. It's better to use a bike line.

Basically, the Lime scooters are pretty much exactly like the Bird scooters. Ahh, capitalism: we have a freedom of choice. Meanwhile, Detroit still has one of the worst public transportation systems in the nation.

Lime has raised money from big-name investors, including Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Uber, with a valuation of $1.1 billion. Bird is worth $2 billion.
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