A new electric scooter-sharing service called Skip has launched in Washington DC, promising sturdier and safer boards than its competitors’. It was formed by the founder of Boosted Boards, which is known for making electric skateboards. Shareable electric scooters quickly became the scourge of San Francisco after a handful of companies introduced their services a few months ago. Since they don’t have dedicated docks like bike-sharing services do, people tend to leave them everywhere, blocking people’s way and making it difficult for wheelchair-users to get past them. Users also tend to ride them on the sidewalk, even though local laws say they need to be driven on the bike lane or on the road, since they feel pretty unstable. Some of them tend to run out of batteries much too quickly, as well.
According to TechCrunch, Skip’s founders decided to use bigger scooters with a wider riding platform, dual suspension and head/tail/brake lights. They modified the scooters to make them more durable, so they’ll need less maintenance, but their ultimate goal is to build their own — considering their background, they’ll likely be able to accomplish that. You can unlock one of their rentals with an app, and it will set you back $1 plus 15 cents per minute, which are the same prices their rivals charge. Skip’s scooters can go for 30 miles at 10mph per charge and will apparently feel stable enough to ride next to cars.
To prevent the vehicles from blocking people’s way, the company requires users to take a photo of the scooters standing upright and away from the middle of a pathway. Skip has also launched a charging program where people can get paid to pick up the scooters, plug them in at their homes and drop them off. One thing that the company hasn’t figured out yet, though, is how to ensure all riders are wearing helmets, which could prevent fatal scooter accidents from happening in the future.
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