The Pilot Press

A New Wave of Transportation

Kylie Greene

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Many people have begun to wonder things like, “What’s that bike doing just sitting in front of my house?” Others have started to think things like, “Who’s scooter is that in the middle of the sidewalk?” To answer these questions, these bikes and scooters are the new trend of transportation — dockless vehicles linked to an app for people to use when in need of transportation for very reasonable prices.

There are various different companies that provide these vehicles operating in San Diego: Limebike, Ofo, Mobike, Spin, and Bird, which specializes in motorized scooters. The process for using the vehicles is practically the same for each company; users download the app, they make an account to link to their credit cards, they scan the QR codes on the vehicles to unlock them, ride them, and park when finished. Once a vehicle is parked, it locks, and the timer is reset.

One of the main reasons that these companies are trending is their affordable prices. Ofo charges $1 per hour, and Mobike, LimeBike, and Spin all charge $1 per half hour. Bird charges $1 to unlock a scooter, and 15 cents per minute.

Of course, there are rules that come with the usage of these vehicles. The bikes and scooters are limited to one user per ride. Electric bikes and scooters are not allowed on sidewalks. California law states that all who are under 18 must wear a helmet while riding a bike, and although the companies do not provide helmets with their bikes, they encourage the usage of helmets. Bird, on the other hand, provides their riders with helmets, as they are required to wear them when using the scooters.

The dockless vehicles have been getting mixed reviews from San Diego inhabitants. Some seem to think that the idea is genius, as it is good for the environment and reduces the number of cars on the road. Others have different opinions, and they think that the bikes and scooters create clutter and clog the sidewalks. Regardless of the wide range of opinions, the vehicles have truly made a statement as a result of the great amount of attention they’ve drawn.

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A New Wave of Transportation