Scoot: The Zipcar for Scooters

09/17/2012 @ 4:21 pm, by Jensen Beeler5 COMMENTS

Scoot: The Zipcar for Scooters scoot logo

I am actually surprised this idea took this long to come to fruition, but someone has finally built a “Zipcar for scooters” business. For those not familiar with the idea, Scoot promises to offer urban commuters convenient access to its network of electric scooters that it has parked around in major metropolitan areas. From what we can gather, the idea is that members of the Scoot community pay a monthly fee to have access to these scooters (in addition to the hourly-usage rate), and can use the Scoot scooters around to run errands in cities like San Francisco.

Scoot hopes to augment the way urban-dwellers approach transportation on two wheels, much in the same vein as companies like Zipcar have done for four-wheeled commuters. While Zipcar has been relatively successful in dense-packed cities (the real killer-app here has been Zipcar’s dedicated parking spots, and ability to give car-less residents an easy option to escape the city on the weekend), it will be interesting to see if the model completely transfers over to the scooter/motorcycle world.

Obvious barriers exist like getting urbanites to adopt the moped-like scooters over other methods of transportation, especially with the perceived dangers that comes with riding a scooter/motorcycle in a city environment (yet they’ll ride their fixies through the Finance District, no problem).

Recently securing $550,000 in funding, Scoot hopes to take its private beta here in San Francisco onto a larger public scale, as well as include other metropolitan areas. Could this be your new form of transportation for when you need to pick up a gallon of milk at the grocery store? Only time will tell.

Source: TechCrunch

Comment:

  1. john says:

    interesting…

    i wonder how scoot will handle the helmet issue? will customers be forced to bring their own lids… or will scoot have nasty-ass “public” helmets that have god-knows-who’s sweat on the liner… like at malibu grand prix?

  2. kevin says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how it works. One of the things that makes Zip Car and similar services successful is the cost of car ownership. Owning and operating an electric scooter costs considerably less. Anyway, I wish them the best.

    @John—If I was renting I’d definitely buy my own lid. Just imagine a trendy urbanite being handed some sweaty, smelly helmet. I’d love to see that!

  3. WW says:

    I’m always concerned when a startup announces that they’re the “X of Y.” In this case we have “Scoot is the Zipcar of scooters.” If the only thing they bring to the table is a reimplementation of an existing business model what’s to stop Zipcar from buying a bunch of scooters and adding a two-wheeled plan?

  4. smiler says:

    Apologies but many other cities have started bicycle sharing / renting / hire schemes. But in the US it has to be scooters. In San Francisco I can understand that because of the steepness of the road but elsewhere? Scooter are often more dangerous than proper motorcycles or bicycles.

  5. David says:

    I can’t imagine how high the liability insurance cost would be for that business here in the US.

    Just think of the lawsuits if someone gets hurt and the scooter didn’t have proper maintenance inspections.

    Do these scooters get inspected after each ride?

    What if the previous rider was a rookie and burnt the brakes off before parking it and someone jumps on then get’s run over a stop light he couldn’t stop at?

    No thanks.