This is fast! Might this be the next revolution in urban travel? Welcome to Capital Bikeshare. Even better than the excellent bike-sharing programs that cities allowed recently? These bike share bikes are great, but you’ve got to pick them up in the dock here and return them to the dock, and just putting these docks in costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. As so often happens, entrepreneurs invented something even better than bikes that must be locked into a dock. Dockless bicycles! Check out the bike, take it anywhere, and just leave the thing. But just as I got used to dockless bicycles, companies like Bird and Lime invented still another option: electric scooters that people can share. They’ve scooted onto streets across the country. It’s like a watered-down version of a motorcycle. A new two-wheeled battery powered way to get around. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. To unlock a scooter, you just use an app on your phone. For 2 bucks I can jump on one of these things, go where I need to go, and then just leave it anywhere! It stays here until someone else rents it. Won’t it be stolen? No, because if someone tries to steal, the brakes lock up, and this happens. “Please unlock me to ride me or I’ll call the police.” If the thief took one anyway, a GPS device inside the scooter would lead police right to the thief. The leave-the-scooter-anywhere system works. It’s a new twist on old technology, that entrepreneurs found to give us something that works even better to solve needs in dense urban areas. That’s a wonderful thing… if they don’t stop it! By “they”, I mean, politicians. Many cities banned the scooters. A Bay Area city at war. San Francisco said: “they endanger public health and safety”. Broken bones, bruises, and near misses by these scooters. At 17 miles an hour – it hurts! Who am I going to sue when I get knocked down? It’s been banned in San Francisco. Which is particularly ironic, because San Francisco always seems to be clamoring for more transportation options. They’re complaining about the traffic and they’re asking particularly for green transportation options. In San Francisco and many other cities, scooter companies tried to escape destructive regulation by doing what Uber and Airbnb did. Just put these out there, and hope that by the time the politicians notice, the scooters would be too popular to ban. They didn’t get permission first. And that’s the issue. Unfortunately, cities haven’t learned from their past experiences with companies like Uber and Airbnb, and they want these innovators to come ask for permission and go through the regulatory processes. Which can take years. Which can take years, and can also prevent consumers from accessing a transportation option that could be accessible now. San Francisco’s now granted permits to two small companies, but not Lime and Bird, the companies that started the business. The pedestrians say they’re a hazard. They get up next to me and zoom right on by. Still, there are safety issues. This man reportedly died after falling off a scooter, and some people ride recklessly. Excuse me, excuse me, ahh f**k! S**t. Are you OK? They’re gonna run us old people over! We actually haven’t seen a large number of accidents or injuries with these scooters Some people have been hurt. And some people get hurt, but we don’t see ourselves banning bicycles because somebody might get hurt on a bicycle. There will be social norms that evolve, just like we’ve seen with bike lanes. Then there’s the crazy opposition. Protestors say they think the deluge of electric scooters in San Francisco is a symptom of gentrification. This group’s upset because scooters are used by rich people, tech workers. The scooters have provoked intense anger here. Some people throw scooters into the ocean, others set scooters on fire. People vandalize these. It’s a low percentage of vandalism, though. I was just in another city the other day, and we had 10,000 rides and we had 18 vandalism complaints. So, when you think about the amount of ridership. So, the irresponsible media blows this up. Whenever there’s something new, the media always hype the problems. Some people call these scooters a nuisance. Which makes it odd that this city, Washington, welcomed scooters. What I love about the District is they are letting us innovate in this space and How can that be? This is Washington, D.C., they regulate everything! Well, they’re regulating us too, but in a very responsible way. Good for D.C.! Not often I get to say that. One last twist: So let’s scan. The scooters even create new ways to make money. Loading. Accept! Accept! We did it! Yes! When scooters lose battery power, scooter companies pay people, like this family, to find them, pick them up, and charge them at home, $5 to $20 dollars for every scooter they charge. What do you do with the money? Um, well I’m gonna try and invest. So kids make money, people have a new form of transport that’s green, it’s good exercise, takes up less space than cars. Maybe, just maybe, the politicians will leave them alone. Woohoo, that’s a bad one right there boy!