If you want to buy a 3 wheel scooter for kids make sure it is completely legal to ride one on public roads. New York is one step closer to legalizing the electric scooter on its streets. After remaining for a long time unmoved by the rise of scooter-sharing companies, it started to give up on its initial position.
Recently, the state’s lawmakers have reached a compromise to lift the ban on these micro-mobility vehicles. If the state’s governor signs it off, people living in New York will be able to rent the electric-powered scooters for their daily rides.
If the bill passes
This bill would modify the state law to legalize electric scooters but it would also require cities to opt-in. Furthermore, it would give localities the chance to make their own decisions when it comes to regulating the vehicles.
Under the new law, the use of electric scooters would become legal in the entire state. However, the sharing service needs to be authorized by municipalities before launching.
Manhattan keeps its position
The borough of Manhattan is the only exception in New York that will not permit an electric scooter pilot program for its streets. Apparently, the streets in Manhattan are already way too crowded and adding e-scooters will create chaos among drivers. This decision appears to bring joy to some of the lawmakers who opposed the legalization of electric scooters.
The lawmakers’ efforts have been seriously accelerated as they attempt to pass a large number of bills until the end of the current legislative session. Even if the bill passes, there is still one more step to go. The bill would reach the governor’s desk and a spokesperson told the media the governor is still analyzing the last proposal.
Why the e-scooter was banned
Renting companies have an unusual way of doing business. When they launched their service in different cities across the United States, they simply put thousands of electric scooters on the streets overnight. Their method of showing up first and asking for permission later was not appreciated by local authorities.
Furthermore, citizens were not happy about people riding electric scooters on sidewalks, parking spaces blocked by e-scooters, or broken and abandoned e-scooters. Because of these problems, local authorities urged the operators to remove all electric scooters from public spaces.
Maybe the authorities were not happy regarding the operator’s method of not asking or waiting for approval so they wanted to show who is in charge. There is a chance they could be expecting the companies to ask for official permits while building a collaborative relationship instead of going on with their way of doing business.
There could be another thing weighing on this decision. The city has already invested money in docked systems which will no longer be used by people riding e-scooters. Around 65 cities have allowed the presence of electric scooters on their streets but they also imposed a maximum number of e-scooter.
E-scooters have a bad reputation
When electric scooters came to New York, everybody knew it was just a matter of time until they will cause problems. It seems that e-scooter riders are known for their reckless style of riding and for not following the rules. With this bad label attached to their name, it did not take long for people to protest against e-scooters.
For example, some advocating for disabled people claimed they would have difficulties moving around the city if the e-scooters were racing on sidewalks. Also, older people would avoid going out and keeping an active lifestyle because they would be afraid of getting injured.
Reconsidering the e-scooters option
Initially, the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, considered electric scooters to be dangerous for everybody driving through the city. He even ordered the New York Police Department to check any delivery worker who might use an e-scooter. However, the mayor now seems to be supportive of this new initiative.
He publicly declared the pragmatic legislation that clears up the rules around e-scooters is highly appreciated as their priority is to make public roads safe for everyone. In order to achieve those safe roads, local authorities have started to work with legislators and community representatives. This way, they should come up with a plan to implement the new law.
How the change will take place
Even if there is a big potential for this idea, the change will not happen overnight. The local authorities still need to implement a set of rules for the scooter companies and riders. In order to introduce the electric scooters in New York’s traffic, they will start with a pilot program.
Beginning with a pilot program has a high chance of success as other big cities such as San Francisco or Chicago have used it. However, New York still has to solve the problem regarding the delivery workers as they have been fined up to $500 and got their scooters confiscated under the current laws.
Many scooter advocates claimed this is a form of discrimination since most of the delivery workers are immigrants. It may seem odd as the use of pedal-assisted e-bikes is legal but the city declared war on electric scooters.
Huge opportunity for companies
As you may think, legalizing electric scooters in New York is a great business opportunity for renting companies. As they tried to get the best position and become the number one service provider in New York, companies have spent a lot of money on market research and advertising.
They have almost everything ready and the only thing left to do is to wait for the legalization of electric scooters. Once they are allowed to operate in New York, they will waste no time in getting their numerous e-scooters on the city’s streets.
How e-scooters may help New York
There is a big chance that New York will be a natural fit for these micro-mobility vehicles. Since the scooter companies have been recently valued at as high as $2 billion, they will get to New York with their newest and best scooters. So if you live in New York, you will be able to rent some of the latest e-scooter models.
The first or last mile problem
No matter how good the public transportation system is, you still have to walk from your house to the metro or bus station or from the bus station to the office. This is known as the first or last mile. For some people, the distance might be significant so they will choose to drive their car instead of using public transportation.
This only adds up to the number of cars already present in the big city’s streets. However, if you can rent a scooter to get faster to the bus station you will not need your car anymore.
According to a recent report, 24 percent of the city’s subway stations were not accessible to many of the city’s locals. Having the possibility of renting an electric scooter, everybody can ride with a top speed of 15 to 25 mph to the closest bus or metro station. This will save time and encourage more people to use public transportation instead of their cars.
No parking space required
This is one of the major advantages of the e-scooter sharing system. After arriving at the destination, there is no need to look for a parking space or a dock station. Simply place it so nobody will trip over it and lock it through the application.
How much a trip costs
The price of renting an electric scooter might be different for New York because we don’t know when they will become legal. Also, companies competing for such a big city could lower the price to get more customers.
However, renting an e-scooter is quite cheap. You just need to download and install a mobile app and you are good to go. When you unlock the scooter, it costs you $1 regardless of how long the ride will be and what your destination is. After unlocking it, the companies charge you as you go.
For every minute of riding the e-scooter, you will be charged 15 to 20 cents. In case your destination is in a part of the city where the renting service is popular, the total price you will pay for the trip will be smaller.
Keep in mind there are various fines for customers that don’t respect the companies’ rules. For example, if you rent the scooter for more than 48 hours, the company will consider their electric scooter as stolen and you will have to pay a $400 fee. Also, if you damage the scooter you will pay between $50 and $500 for its repairs.