Renting has become a quick and painless way to commute through major cities and people especially look for the best motorized scooter for adults when arriving in a new place for the first time. This way of traveling really takes the best of both worlds as you get the speed of on-wheels traveling without the immense problem of finding a parking space.
Several electric scooter startups have taken over the market and riding the wave high these days. Their advantage is the fact that people can simply use the scooters and leave them anywhere in the city and they will be located with the use of a simple app. If you’re interested to find out how scooter rentals work, keep on reading to find out.
Things to know before renting your first scooter
Pretty much everywhere from San Diego to Washington DC, electric scooter rentals are becoming the way to travel for people who need a fast way to get from one place to the next. They are fun, cheap to use, easy to operate and they work wonders for reducing CO2 emissions as well as traffic congestion at rush hours.
It’s a way of traveling that really does require a certain type of civilization to work, but at the moment it really seems to do wonders for the people in the Western hemisphere. Whether you are just vacationing in a big city or you live there and want to go out on a coffee break, there are four essentials to understand before riding off into the sunset:
Safety first: heads, hands, and handlebars
We have no doubt that the excitement of your first electric scooter ride is not something you will soon forget, but it should never overshadow the need to be safe at all times. The first thing that you have to do is to strap on your helmet then pump your scooter’s brakes to ensure they are working properly before you get on the road.
When traveling, make sure to follow all traffic laws such as stop signs and one-ways because you are an active participant in traffic, even though you’re not driving a car. You should always keep both hands on the handlebars unless signaling the fact that you are going to change your moving direction.
Where should you ride?
Sure, it may be appealing to ride your e-scooter on the sidewalk and save up even more time, but the truth is that’s not really what they are designed for. Since they can even reach speeds of 14 mph, e-scooters are meant to be ridden on permitted bike paths, bike lanes, and roadways.
Don’t be the guy who’s taking advantage of his small vehicle to get in front of other people who are patiently waiting for their turn. Scooters are meant to help combat traffic crowding and this can only be done if everybody is following the rules.
Keep parking simple
Especially with scooters which are rented through apps, parking is usually very convenient because you can do it pretty much everywhere. However, there are still some protocols to follow to make sure you’re not getting into the way of everybody else.
The rule of thumb for scooter parking is simply this: whatever you do, make sure to keep all pedestrian walkways clear. This means parking is forbidden on sidewalks, bus stops, entrance and exit ramps, and any other location where those on foot or in a wheelchair would not be able to get by because of you.
Feel free to use bike racks whenever they are available as they are expertly built to be out of the way of everything else. Sidewalk furniture zones can also be used if nothing else is available. Basically, as long as you use some common sense when choosing a place to park, you should be okay.
Remember the technology
While their design might truly be immortal, scooters have come a long way in the last two decades and even though the concept might still be the same, the technology sure has changed so make sure to remember this.
Because most scooter rentals are dock free, they will require a smartphone to be locked and unlocked. This allows them to be picked up or dropped off almost anywhere so it makes things extremely convenient. E-scooters also have a pretty strong electric motor and acceleration is as simple as pressing down on the thumb throttle.
There’s also a good amount of hardware involved, from a digital speed and battery display to automatic front and rear lighting. Most rentals will also come with a GPS connection, for safety issues, as well as a sensor to detect whether the scooter has been tipped over.
So how can I rent an e-scooter?
Bird is one of the companies which is taking over in terms of e-scooter rentals, basically flooding the streets of San Francisco and other major U.S. cities. With its motorized vehicles that are like Razor scooters for grown-ups, the appeal is certainly there. Since most rentals work the same, we thought we’d use Bird’s example to walk you through the entire process.
Step 1: Just go outside
E-scooter rentals got so big that you will probably just need to get outside the building you are in to find one that is up for grabs. You will notice they look really fun and sleek to ride on.
Step 2: The app
The next step is downloading their app on your phone and creating a login profile. After doing this, your area’s map will appear and start showing you nearby “Birds”. A great finely-tuned point is that the closer you zoom in the more details you can make out, even the scooter’s battery.
When you find one that you like, tap the button to unlock it. The app will then ask you to snap a photo of the scooter’s QR code and even (just for your first rental) scan your driver’s license. These steps might turn away some people who don’t feel that comfortable around smartphones.
Step 3: Pricing and riding
Most e-scooter companies have been started with affordability being a part of their mission so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to rent one. A Bird will run you $1 to unlock and 15 cents for every minute of use. It’s really not that much when you think about fuel costs if you were to use a car.
To start your journey with the rental scooter, you usually have to kick off three times then push the throttle button with your thumb and the engine will come roaring to life. The right hand is for acceleration and the left one for braking. All you have to do for each of these effects is to gently squeeze the respective handle.
Final things to consider
E-scooters are a wonder of technology and will respond to your lightest touch. Therefore, you might want to be away from traffic as you learn how to handle it for the first time. You’ll have your share of lurches in the beginning but the fun will get you there, so don’t worry!
They are fast and easy to maneuver, even though some people might not feel comfortable turning corners. If that happens, you can simply apply the brake and pedal on your own until you get out of the dangerous area.
When you want to end the ride, simply open the app and tap the same button again to lock the scooter. You could end up being amazed seeing how you got where you needed in the same amount of time but for just a fraction of your typical Uber ride cost.