What Are E-Scooters?

Dockless Shareable Mobility Devices: Hard to Say, Easy to Ride

When it comes to modern transportation, the ‘how’ is every bit as important as the ‘where.’ That’s because how you choose to get around decides when you need to leave, if you’re going to get there on time, and whether you’re going to enjoy the trip. Add in questions about fuel efficiency, cost savings, and the environment, and point A to point B seems less like a straight line and more like a spiderweb. 

Alright, let’s back up. Surely it can’t be that complicated. You have private vehicles and public transportation. Everything else is just in the details, right? Maybe 20 years ago. The way we get around now is ever-changing, as urban population density, economic factors, and environmental awareness press the demand for new, innovative options. 

Welcome to E-Scooters or dockless shareable mobility devices. Alright, that’s a mouthful. Let’s break it down:

  • Dockless – No docks, just right.
  • Shareable – Like Bloomin’ Onions, they’re for everyone. 
  • Mobility – You use them to get around. 
  • Devices – Bicycles and scooters. 

 

Got it? Alright, let’s keep rolling. 

What Are These Things?

Maybe you’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve used them. Maybe you’ve tripped over one on the sidewalk and spilled your coffee. Whatever your experience, the key details remain the same: these are small transportation devices, such as E-Scooters and bicycles, meant for everyone to share. 

The city of Atlanta has rules in place governing their use, which enable companies to fairly explore the market for such devices among Atlanta residents, while following a common set of regulations. Unlike a lot of shared transportation devices, these dockless bicycles and E-Scooters don’t need to be locked in a specific dock after use. This makes them especially convenient and simple to use.

Are They Here to Stay? 

So far, 9 companies have received permits to operate their dockless mobility systems in Atlanta. Each company is permitted to use 2,000 devices, and, as the number of scooters and bicycles continues to increase, you’re bound to see them on the street. 

The important thing to remember is that they have both pros and cons. Whether you’re a dockless devotee or you just wish they’d disappear altogether, understanding how they work, how they’re regulated, and why they’re a part of our transportation system is essential. 

 

Now you know what these devices are, so the next time you see someone riding one on the street you can flag them down and say “hey there, friend. Nice e-scooters or dockless shareable mobility device.” Or you can hop on one yourself. Who knows, you might just find they’re the right ‘how’ for your ‘where’ and ‘when.’