- Scoot has become the latest company to introduce dockless, shareable mopeds. Called Scoot Mopeds, the devices will be available through the Scoot and Bird apps as a pilot program in Los Angeles, with more cities expected to add them later this year.
- The company said its new mopeds are "comfortable, efficient, and easy-to use vehicles," with features including powerful brakes, side mirrors and an LCD display for enhanced visibility and large tires that help deliver a smooth ride.
- The vehicles come equipped with a helmet, and riders must be over 18 years old and have a valid drivers license. Once a ride is complete, Scoot said the mopeds must be parked on the street in designated motorcycle spaces and between car parking places and cannot be ridden on sidewalks.
This move from Scoot makes them the latest company to look beyond bikes and scooters and try out mopeds. Last week, Uber announced a network of shareable mopeds in Paris, while Revel has brought the vehicles to Washington, DC and New York City. And in a pilot program last year, Muving brought its own moped vehicles to Atlanta.
Operators say they are a bridge between smaller vehicles like scooters and bikes and cars, offering a new way to take medium-length trips without adding to urban congestion and pollution. "Everyone in a city wants to get from point A to B as quickly as possible," Michael Keating, president and founder of Scoot, said in a statement. "This desire has spurred many new modes of transportation in just the last year alone."
Scoot's introduction of mopeds is significant, as they will be offered on the Bird app as well. When the latter company bought Scoot, investors told Smart Cities Dive that such an acquisition could help them experiment with new technologies while also expanding their fleets and breaking into new markets.
City leaders may still have some concerns, however. There is a need for riders to get comfortable with the vehicles and build experience on them, while there will always be safety concerns about adding yet another mode of transport to already congested streets. But if mopeds can be successful, and Revel has said previously that things are going well in New York, they could be an alternative to single-occupancy cars.