Rental bike sharing is taking the U.S. by storm. So-called dockless bikes have offered an inexpensive and convenient way to commute in urban areas and now startups are expanding their fleets. But the trend is also creating a headache for local communities.
From California to the nation's capital, commuters like Luke Rosche-Ritchie are riding electric scooters.
"I like the dockless, you can drop it wherever and hopefully find one when you need one"
Dockless scooters, just like dockless bikes, allow users to leave the rental wherever they end their trip instead of returning them to a docking station.
Zack bartlett with limebike says you locate a scooter through a smartphone app, scan the QR code to unlock it and ride. Scooter and bike sharing has become so popular, start ups like Limebike, Bird and Ofo have racked up millions of rides across the country.
"In just under 9 months we've seen over 50 markets," Bartlett says.
The technology's success has also come with growing pains as complaints pile up over user etiquette.
Bikes scattered on sidewalks and street corners have pushed towns like Highland Park, Texas ad Coronado, California to restrict their use. Now some believe scooters could be the next nuissance.
"The scooter in the middle of the sidewalk with swaths of people, it can be really annoying," says DC commuter Elizabeth Price.
Cities like San Francisco are sending out warnings.
"If they want to continue this level of arrogance, we'll impound their scooters and send them packing," says Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Supervisor.
Limebike says it uses online tutorials to teach customers how to be responsible.
"User education is very important to us, because we understand this is a new technology and we want to make sure people a) know how to ride it safe b) know how to park it responsibly."
With the average cost of bikes and scooters starting at a couple of dollars an hour, riders say you can't beat the convenience.
Car ride share giant Uber is joining the trend. It recently purchased dockless bike share start up Jump.
(Danielle Nottingham, CBS News)
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