users will have to park the scooters at specified docking stations.
How will that be enforced?
The UK's first trial of rented electic scooters will be in Teesside, according to Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen. The region has partnered with Ginger – a little-known UK micromobility startup – to deploy more than 100 scooters. The cities named by Houchen to receive the controversial two-wheelers include Darlington, Hartlepool …
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"Sure it's a serious pain in the ass, but it's not impossible to beat them at their own game."
All you've managed to do is prove that it's possible to steal a scooter. It's also possible to steal library books, bowling shoes, supermarket trolleys and cars. Despite that, we still manage to have libraries, bowling alleys, supermarkets and hire car companies. (Well, not Hertz, I admit).
Yes you could do all that but you'd be the proud owner of something that was unmistakably stolen. These city bikes are so obviously city bikes that even if you resprayed the thing everyone would know. I doubt you'd last long before a cop or someone decided to have a closer look. And probably the parts are deliberately proprietary to prevent them being cannibalized.
Scooters are a different story. First off they can phone home so good luck with that. And even if you take out the gps & mainboard you need to replace it with something that works instead. And a charger. And the simple countermeasure to people doing that is to pour epoxy resin around all the internals - battery, mainboard, electronics, screws etc. so that the effort required to "hack" the thing becomes excessive.
Most free bike schemes require you to check the bike out of a station and into another. So they know who took it, how long its been gone and also who to fine if it disappears.
A docking station is vital to this sort of thing. US cities were littered with scooters because many private companies used systems that allowed them to be dumped anywhere when they were done with. Cities would impound them, people would steal them, business owners would dump them in the trash. They became a blight.
"so you can plan ahead."
If your lucks in. You head to the nearest dock to where you want to be, but by the time you get there, three other people have already arrived, used up the two remaining spaces and left one wondering if a space will come free or bike off to the next nearest one. Like the apps which tell you where parking spaces are, you can't reserve it, you are still relying on luck.
Let's compare e-scooters with "electrically assisted pedal cycles"
e-scooters : must have helmet and insurance (max speed about 20mph)
bike: no need for helmet and insurance. (but max speed 15.5 mph)
Someone isn't thinking this through. But then, booze and tobacco are legal.
"of course the latter can go much faster if you pedal."
Which neatly explains why they are different. You can't can't "scoot" a scooter up to those speeds and so the motor is the primary means of propulsion, making it a "motor vehicle" in law, unlike an e-bike, where the motor is legally an "assistive technology", is NOT a "motor vehicle" in law.
Escooters will be limited to 15.5mph, the same point that a road legal e-bike stops giving assistance... and e-bikes can continue to be pedalled faster than that.
As far as i can tell, the piece is also wrong on helmets - for neither ebikes or rental escooters are helmets mandatory, but recommended, (and highly recommended for e-scooters), as the smaller wheels can be stopped significantly easier by a small thing on the road than a large bike wheel can, which will typically just ride over it.
Two wheels and poor weight distribution, small wheels that can be impeded by any object. Don't laugh, I once hit a cat on my 26" bike (it shot out of some shrubs as I rode by), it was like hitting a sandbag lying in the road.
Three wheels, slow and steady gets us to the pub!
What if instead of electric-bicycles that clutter up the sidewalks & annoy the piss out of some folks, they used electric golf carts?
Those little two person "Cushman pickup" style things would let folks carry a passenger if needed, haul a decent amount of groceries in the back, and wouldn't require a helmet since the cab is enclosed to protect against the weather.
Granted, it would need more space to park/charge, but it's unlikely anyone would drive on the sidewalks in them since pedestrians might be tempted to use their phones to take a picture of you doing it & upload it to the police to report you for unsafe driving. You would have to have a valid drivers license & a credit card to rent one, so the police wouldn't have any trouble hunting you down once they had a GPS+Date+TimeStamped photo of you doing something stupid in one.
Would that be a better idea than the scooters, or just a bigger problem with additional headaches?
That's a small car. We already have hire cars/vans/trucks. If you want electric you can hire a Nissan Leaf.
I seem to remember some pilot schemes where you could hire smart cars on a PAYG basis, and leave them wherever for pickup, but I don't think it lasted very long.
A rack of bikes/scooters takes up waaaay less space than a car park, and can therefore be located where people actually want to go, rather than the current trend for de-car-ification (sorry) of our city centres.
In the UK at least, having to pay for parking is a growing problem. Local Councils seem to want to attract the people (or rather their money), but don't want the traffic. People are voting with their feet (and wheels).
Compare: shopping online. vs out of town retail park/mall vs city centre retail district.
You can literally get more done from the passenger seat while sat in traffic than traipsing round the shops. There is something to be said for seeing what you are buying, for clothes etc, but once you know you are a certain size in a certain store, is it worth another journey?
Sidenote: At the moment, a lot of these gate-keeping schemes are based on emissions. (congestion charge, VED). What is going to happen once everything is electric? kW of engine (motor) power?
I suppose the emissions will have just moved to the power plants. However, as we move to more sustainable energy sources the gate-keeping will be revealed for the lie we already know it is:
Its not about emissions, its about not having so many vehicles on the road it gridlocks our beleaguered transport infrastructure.
Sounds very much like Peachtree City in Georgia which has laid out something like 100km of lanes especially for golf carts and where there are about 10,000 of these things trundling round replacing cars on short journeys.
Tom Scott has a video:
When people start wearing "I'm a Limey" T-shirts.
If I was a clearer minded thinker, I'd just paint my private e-scooter in Lime (I'm presuming some green) livery and avoid any paymentwork.
Oh, oh... What happens when you're 6 pints down and scooting home only to hit the 10pm curfew and your Lime turns into a Lemon? You going to carry it the rest of the way?
And I can't wait for the Friday night pub races... The Pickled Cock vs The Trout and Handbag and such.
I won't even mention that the GPS geofence probably won't work on the shiney new GbPoS BoJoNav system.
You can tell i got to work too early this morning.
I used to use that airport before it stopped passenger flights. The main issue is that newcastle and leeds are both already there with more destinations, Teesside Airport (As it was known) was good for a few domestic flights for students to get home from uni over the holidays but that was about it
...a provisional licence doesn't necessarily mean someone knows the rules of the road...
Gobsmacked I was the other day. Slowed down to let a scooter out at a junction and he looked both ways, came out in front, carefully looked past me for other scooter/motorcycle/cyclist doing the "organ donor's overtake" and then went for it.
Once my flabber had ceased gasting, I looked in my wing mirror at the receding scooter. Aha! No "L" plate on the back...
I was in Auckland last year where they have the ride and dump version. The streets were littered with abandoned scooters (not supposed to happen with this system) and you had to keep a permanent lookout for the lunatics doing 15 mph on the pavement. Also saw some interesting consequences of large potholes. the phrase 'arse over tit' popped into my head a lot.
Can't see this being a great success but can see a few boxing matches coming about when somebody crashes into the wrong pedestrian especially later inn the evening now that the pubs are back open.
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