In Some Parts of the World, It Makes Sense
Ride-hailing companies like Uber are struggling to make a profit in certain parts of the world, like India. While the company would eventually like to have self-driving cars everywhere, it has to figure something out in the meantime. It seems that a solution could be electric scooters.
Cars are difficult in many areas due to the fact that you have to pay the driver. “You can’t make it affordable with a driver,” Vivekananda Hallekere, a co-founder and the chief executive of Bounce, told The New York Times. “And if users know how to use a scooter, why do you need a driver?” Bounce offers scooters people can pick up and drop off anywhere in the city of Bangalore in India.
The idea is an interesting one, especially in a place like India where two-wheeled transportation is extremely common. It’s a way to offer affordable transportation to who need it.
I’m not sure that this kind of solution is viable everywhere. India has around 200 million people that have a license to ride a motorcycle or scooter of some kind. Not everywhere is so lucky. However, it might be a perfect solution in certain cities.
In the U.S., it would seem that only large cities with warmer climates year-round would make sense. However, if the bikes were reasonably priced to use, it might be a reason for more people to get their motorcycle license, which I’m all for. We’re definitely entering into a world where this kind of solution will be more common. I’m not going to be angry if I see electric scooters as a part of a ride-sharing company start popping up around me.