2020: Seattle’s summer of the scooter

This could be you (Image: Bird)

By next summer, electric scooters are primed to join Seattle’s growing fleet of privately-provided mobility options.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has announced the start of a year-long rollout process that includes three phases of outreach, City Hall wrangling over rules and permitting, and, then, eventually rollout in mid-2020.

“(A)t Mayor Durkan’s direction, we plan to draw lessons from other cities’ micro–mobility (a term for new, small, and electric transportation modes) programs and hear from community stakeholders before allowing scooter share in the City,” the SDOT announcement reads.

Before implementation, City Hall must address issues that have emerged with other scooter shares including rider safety and sidewalk safety issues. Continue reading

Why it’s now even harder to find a car share vehicle on Capitol Hill

The number of floating car share vehicles flowing onto Capitol Hill at night and flowing right back off in the morning has dropped this summer. BMW abruptly pulled the plug on ReachNow last week.

Following a splashy Capitol Hill launch party in spring of 2016, the Mini Coopers and BMWs became part of the weird, wild, and somewhat reliable transportation options provided by the smartphone-driven era of car, bike, scooter, etc. sharing in Seattle.

The service’s abrupt cancelation leaves drivers in the Pacific Northwest turning to the remaining providers including Daimler’s Car2go. In February, CHS reported on bike share company Lime expanding into the car business in Seattle to join the traffic jam of options. Other car share options in Seattle include the old school, fixed-space Zipcar and Getaround, a startup that sounds like the “Airbnb” of motor vehicles.

The numbers show that share services are hugely popular in Seattle and are also contributing to the city’s clogged streets with around 40,000 motor vehicle rides a day starting in downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union, and  on Capitol Hill.

LimePods join Seattle’s crowded shared transit fleet

(Image: Lime)

We’re well on our way to a Wall-E future where everybody rides a chair.

This week, Lime — after announcing its share bikes will soon be an all-electric fleet — also rolled out its LimePods for the general public in Seattle.

“Until now, the LimePod has only been available to a select group of super users and influencers,” we’re told.

LimePods, by the way, are cars. Eventually, the plan is for an electric ‘pod fleet, too. But, for now, Lime is just another floating car share gas guzzler in this town joining BMW’s ReachNow and Daimler’s car2go floating car share brands. Continue reading