Knight Errant

Electric scooters take over the Twin Cities

There are now two companies that provide electric scooters for rent across the Twin Cities.

The Lime scooters have a dazzling green design with a matching helmet.

Lime Press Release Photo, Creative Commons

The Lime scooters have a dazzling green design with a matching helmet.

Zach Zeman, Staff Writer

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Last summer, two companies called “Bird” and “Lime” started putting out electric scooters for people to access an easier mode of transportation in many different cities around the U.S. These scooters originated in Santa Monica and other popular places in California but out of nowhere, these scooters started to show up in Minneapolis.

These easy to run scooters are a great way of getting to a destination in a fun and cheap way. The scooters tend to go about 15 mph at their fastest rate. These scooter companies both have a downloadable app that lets users know where the closest scooter is. Each of these apps also reveal how charged each scooter is, as well as the regulations of the law.

Before riding, users scan their license, verifying their age. Riders must be at least 18 years or older to ride these scooters. Other regulations and rules require people to ride responsibly when using their products.

In order to be able to ride these scooters around town, users have to locate a scooter around their vicinity. If scooters are right next to the user, they might not take any safety precautions before riding. Because of this, users should try to find a helmet beforehand just in case something goes wrong when riding. Since it is technically not a law that one must wear a helmet, chances are some people don’t wear helmets at all. Users must consider the regulations with these scooters and not park them in places where they might become obstacles. These companies would like for the users to ride these scooters in the bike lanes on streets in order to stay off of the sidewalks and avoid other pedestrians. When the users are done taking a ride, the app says to park the bike by any bike racks so that it doesn’t block any public pathways such as in front of doors and in the middle of the sidewalk.

It was a rainy night, and I instantly felt unsafe without wearing a helmet, but I was also having the time of my life.”

— Zach Zeman

Although these do seem like a lot of fun, it will cost some money to ride these scooters. A flat fee of $1 to ride the scooter is charged to the user’s card once they begin to ride. Every minute when a user is riding their scooter, 15 cents are added to their bill. With all of these charges, an hour of riding costs around $10 for both scooter companies.

I have had the chance to ride these scooters. After unlocking the scooter and making sure you will be riding it, the scooter turns on. It was nighttime when I went for a little ride and the scooter provided enough light for me to see my path. After a couple of pushes with my foot and the turn of the throttle, the scooter instantly took off. Before I knew it, I was going around 15 miles per hour. It was a rainy night, and I instantly felt unsafe without wearing a helmet, but I was also having the time of my life. I gave every gadget of the scooter a try and everything worked well including the brakes.

If somebody, 18 or older, is looking to get somewhere fast with a cheap cost, this alternative is the way to go. There are plenty of scooters around the cities. The scooters are very fitting for a nice “stroll” around town. A simple mobile app adds to a very fun experience. All the users have to do is open the app to find the nearest one to ride. The scooters will take the users to the destination in a quick manner. Both “Lime” and “Bird” scooters are a very enjoyable experience, and a great transportation option as well.

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Electric scooters take over the Twin Cities