It’s no secret that in Europe, scooter riding is far more commonplace than, say, the United States. The Europeans are also at the forefront of on-street leasing schemes with their public bicycle rentals that have been on the streets of countries such as Denmark and Sweden for many years. It was only a matter of time, then, before somebody came up with the idea to rent scooters on a per-minute basis.
That company is called “CityScoot”, and they’re renting electric scooters, no less.
The French startup currently rents some 16,000 electric scooters in Paris and nearby cities, and plans to extend the scheme to other cities in France. and other countries in Europe with this latest round of investment.
These scooters, which are now commonplace on the streets of Paris, are completely silent. They come with a helmet in the under-seat storage. In a very Uber-esque manner, you use a smartphone app to rent the scooter. When you start the rental, you are given a code to unlock the scooter. When you finish your ride, you simply park it, and walk away. The cost is €0.20 per minute (about 25¢).
Riders don’t have to worry about charging, as a fleet of (electric) cars run around the city changing the batteries on the scooters as their system notifies them that the charge is low.
CityScoot claims 70,000 users—taking 7,000 to 9,000 rides every day. The average ride is said to last fifteen minutes. They are about to launch in Nice, and three other cities—including cities in Switzerland and Italy.
From the outside, renting electric scooters on a per-minute basis would seem like a logistical and liability nightmare, but they seem to be making a go of it, and I say that’s great news!
What do you think? Would a scheme like this work well in your city? Would you use such a service? Let me know in the comments below!