Text/Sina Tech, Jiang Yiqun
The story of shared bikes has attracted much attention since 2016. It has gone through crazy 2017 and finally came to an end with various acquisitions and rumours in 2018. From cyclists to "colors" are not enough to use "," to the relevant companies have found a backing or even closed down, after a war, people commuting more convenient, but also left a feather.
Shared bicycles in Hangzhou's cemetery & rdquo;
The story of China's shared cycling has so far ended, but in the United States on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, another sharing story has begun to appear. It seems to be very similar to sharing bicycles in China.
“From the Sky ” Shared Electric Scooters
About from March this year, if you walk in the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Washington, you will find many electric scooters scattered in various corners of the city center. There are still many people walking on the streets on these scooters.
In fact, these people actually have a scooter that doesn't conform to the rules of use. It doesn't exactly accord with the rules. We'll talk about it later. In short, we don't want to learn.
These scooters, like the Chinese shared bicycles, are public products that can be used on the go. Specifically, the services provided by three start-ups are —— Bird, LimeBike, and Spin.
Bird shared electric skateboard
LimeBike Sharing Electric Skateboards
Spin shared electric skateboard
Using this type of shared electric skateboard is as easy as sharing a bike:
According to California law, users must be over the age of 18, need valid driving documents, and should wear helmets when using them (now know how the person in the third image of the text does not meet the specifications).
▲ Safety requirements on the pedal
After satisfying the above conditions, download the App, unlock the scooter, lock it after use, and confirm the billing with the App.
The scooters still look very happy, but this one didn't have a helmet, everyone should not learn her
This kind of electric skateboard billing is also considered cheap in the United States: Take Bird as an example, starting at $1 and using 15 cents per minute.
Based on the above billing results, she spent 13 minutes, billing $ 2.95 —— is equivalent to playing Uber fraction
Why is an electric scooter?
Maybe some people will ask, is close to sharing the traffic in China is a bicycle, how to the United States has become an electric skateboard?
First of all here to explain: The United States has shared bicycles. It includes not only the Mobike and ofo that sailed from China, but also the shared bicycles operated by local companies. For example, LimeBike and Spin started to share bicycles.
LimeBike's Shared Bicycles and Shared Electric Scooters
As far as the United States shares the electric skateboard derived from the near-distance sharing of traffic, according to the author's observation, there are mainly three reasons for this:——
One is that compared to bicycles, electric scooters can traverse more complex urban terrain, and they are lighter than bicycles, so it is not a big problem.
Second, electric scooters are more suitable for business wear users, as well as women wearing skirts, which effectively solves a major pain point for bicycles. According to LimeBike, the reason why they are expanding from bicycles to scooters is mainly to serve this group of people.
The third reason stems from a certain feeling —— compared to cycling, a scooter seems to be a bit cooler. Wearing a hoodie, carrying a backpack, and stepping on a scooter, it seems more in line with the image of Silicon Valley geeks. And adults step on scooters, perhaps there will be "return to childhood" feeling.
According to Bird founder Travis VanderZanden, he chose to share electric scooters. "Not only because it is the most practical mode of transportation, but also because it reminds people of their childhood. ”
Because of the convenience + sentiment, the shared electric skateboard industry has attracted many talents and investments, many of which are related to the traditional sense of shared traffic.——
Established in 2017, Bird is the only company in the three companies that only operates electric scooters. Founder Travis VanderZanden is a former executive of the taxi company Lyft and Uber, who has now raised $115 million.
LimeBike was founded by two Chinese Brad Bao and Toby Sun in 2017. Among them, Brad Bao was the general manager of Tencent America. The founding company earlier similar to Mobi and ofo, launched a bicycle, and later launched a shared electric car. Currently they have raised $132 million, and investors include well-known venture capitalists such as Andreeseen Horowitz.
LimeBike co-founders Brad Bao (left) and Toby Sun (right)
Spin was founded in 2016 and started as a shared bicycle. It is the longest of the three sharing companies and has currently raised $8 million.
One of the founders, Euwyn Poon, once said in an interview that last year he spent some time in Beijing and Shanghai and saw the success of shared bicycles in the Chinese market. Inspired by this, he decided to use China's experience to start operations in the United States at close range. Share traffic.
Three Spin Founders (from left to right): Cheng Zaizhuang, Euwyn Poon, and Derrick Ko
And it is worth noting that behind these three companies' electric scooters, there is also Xiaomi's shadow.
In the street survey of American financial media Quartz, the electric scooters put by the Bird and Spin companies are mostly manufactured by the company's ecological chain company, Mdash; manufactured by Ninebot and retailed at US$500 on Amazon.
Bird scooter chassis label
Bird declined to confirm their relationship with Xiaomi, but Spin said that they did collaborate with Xiaomi to customize the electric scooters.
Electric scooters start to be popular, but Americans are a little annoying
In fact, at the beginning, many Americans still welcome these electric scooters because it is a cheap and convenient means of transportation, which can reduce dependence on cars and of course alleviate traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
However, afterwards, the problem shared bicycles encountered in China did not escape the sharing of electric scooters in the United States. Take a look at these damaged scooter ——
The car was thrown on the side of the road and the wires were cut off.
The QR code on the car was scraped off
Car being thrown at the beach
A car that is hung on a tree
Someone drew a place where the scooters were parked. "Fence," was written next to "Silly X Parking Spaces" (What Ghost?)
The car was pulled above (this is very disgusting)
One of the reasons why these cars suffer from such treatment, apart from some people who have nothing to do with trouble, is that the relationship between the local residents and these shared scooters companies has become increasingly tense. The locals feel that these scooters are all so-called science and technology elite toys. Scooter riders are rampaging on the streets, disrupting the streets, disturbing the order of the streets, and not benefitting local transportation.
The scourge of scooter should be condemned, but scooter "rushing, disorderly, disrupting the order of the streets" is also true to some extent. Someone on Twitter has been exposed to the uncivilized use of scooters——
Twitter users have been able to park the scooter in the middle of the sidewalk. What do you think? ”
Twitter user "Jess McCuan": "The electric scooters turned into rubbish and threw it on the side of the road. I support scooter, but I am against such a scooter. The level of manufacturing is too bad. This is a small town! Walk on the line. ”
According to San Francisco officials, they often received complaints about the sharing of electric scooters, including random parking (stopping the central side of the sidewalk or the entrance of the building), resulting in the inconvenience of sidewalks for children and wheelchair users; and users not Going on the road, scooters on the sidewalk, this is also illegal in the local area.
A San Francisco-based pedestrian support organization, Walk SF, declared: "The sharing of scooters undermines the driving style in California." They describe the tragedy of a 63-year-old man who was stumbled on a scooter and had to be sent to the emergency department. Even on Facebook, he specifically recorded the sharing of scooters that hampered the sidewalk.
Like sharing bicycles in China, the government also shot up after various problems appeared.
First, on April 16th, San Francisco’s prosecutors issued a cessation order to Bird, LimeBike and Spin, demanding that these companies suspend operations locally and take measures to regulate the scooters. At the same time, San Francisco's relevant departments have detained more than 300 scooters.
In Santa Monica, Calif., the government sued Bird for illegal operations, and finally Bird paid in February this year at a cost of US$300,000.
Recently, San Francisco’s traffic management department proposed a regulatory pilot program for the next two years and is currently waiting for a hearing. Specific measures include:
Management will issue five licenses, and each license may deliver no more than 500 shared electric scooters, meaning that no more than 2,500 vehicles will be legally delivered in San Francisco.
At the same time, the service area for sharing electric scooters is also limited. Related companies have to pay $10,000 for the government's management of scooter and also provide service plans for low-income people.
The Los Angeles code may be the beginning. In the future, major cities in the United States will update laws and regulations to deal with the chaos caused by such vehicles.
From the model innovation, to the brutal growth, to the standard operation & mdash; & mdash; & China's shared bicycle seems to be the same.