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Electric scooters in Los Angeles

Bloomberg Businessweek just published this article summarizing the impact that Bird and its electric scooters are having on Los Angeles. Here are a couple of highlights:

– Bird launched a year ago and is, today, valued at around $2 billion.

– The company has around 15,000 scooters on the road in Los Angeles. We already know that this is making some/many people grouchy.

– The cost to rent a scooter is $1 plus $0.15 a minute.

– LA has an incentive program in place that allows Bird to expand its fleet within low-income areas. Still, their scooters tend to be concentrated in wealthier areas of the city.

– Beverly Hills is trying to figure out how to handle/regulate these scooters and currently has a 6 month ban in place.

– Supposedly, you can ride a Bird through West Hollywood but you’re not allowed to park it anywhere.

The company is based in Santa Monica, so it’s not surprising that they have such a stronghold in the LA market. Still, there appears to be a lot of latent demand for this kind of mobility.

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According the US Department of Energy, almost 60% of vehicle trips in the US last year were less than 6 miles. And around 40% were less than 2 miles. 

So these “last mile scooters” do appear to have a lot of utility. Do any of you regularly use an electric scooter to get around?

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