I am a huge fan of the shared bike and car services.  It makes complete sense on so many levels particularly in urban areas.  We all need transportation but owning and housing a car that you only use on occasion is why Zipcar has been so brilliant.  Obviously the execution was quite important too but in essence Zipcar filled a void we didn't even realize was there. 

The bikes have taken over the urban cities which is a very good thing.  It is great for exercise, for the congestion of the streets and is fun to get around on.  In Copenhagen we rented bikes for a whole day and went everywhere.  It was fantastic.

Fred told me about Scootnetworks and the second I heard about it…I loved it.  Both Fred and I drive Images-1scooters around town.  Easy to use, great to get around, helps cut down on the congestion of cars in the city and gets you from place to place easily. 

Scootnetworks take the concept of Zipcar but instead of a car you use a scooter.  The tag line is "speedy, fun, electric scooters you can ride around the city".  Love that they are electric too.  

The scooters are currently in SF.  The idea is that you will be able to access the scooters and find out where they are on your iPhone or Android.  Through your phone you will GPS the one closest to you and unlock it.  There will be two helmets on the vehicle to wear.  You will be able to leave the vehicle almost anywhere because we can track where it is.  You can buy a pass like the bike system and there will be options from keeping the scooter for a few days or only one night or even just an afternoon.

I can hardly wait for them to get to NYC!  Oh yes, I did invest, how could I not?


Enhanced by Zemanta

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I’m in as soon as they get here.BIg believer in bike share as well. Use them whenever I travel to Paris, Vienna and more.

    1. Gotham Gal

      definitely a perfect business for europe.

      1. Rohan

        That’s what came to mind. They’d have good market in London, Paris, Zurich et al.Good stuff. Can sense the excitement. Congrats!This is the future.. until we invent little jet motors that can be attached to our feet that will enable us to fly..

  2. Ryan Drew

    Another great company. I’m assuming neither licenses or lessons/certifications are required?

  3. falicon

    What are the lic. requirements for a scooter in NY? Is a standard drivers license enough or do you need a class M? I would think if you need more than a standard, it will be difficult to break into the mainstream around NYC (where lots of people don’t have a lic. at all actually!)…

    1. Jonathan

      From the Vespa Soho website (… “…in New York State, any two wheeled motorized vehicle that can go faster than 30mph is a motorcycle, REGARDLESS OF ENGINE SIZE. …All of Vespa’s current models require a motorcycle license to ride legally in NY…” Sounds like a motorcycle license will be required.

      1. Gotham Gal

        Not so sure about that.

          1. Gotham Gal

            interesting. unfortunate that the model might be better suited to europe where they encourage vehicles that use little gas, are good for the environment and make total sense.

          2. kenberger

            neither of those last 2 articles seem to apply here. The police referring to “motorized scooters” means something else, probably the “Goped” and other types. The 2nd article is clearly talking about those *bicycles* with motors attached.NY does not actually recognize Vespas and their ilk as “scooters”; legally they are motorcycles and are registered as are correct about NY’s speed-based licensing (Calif is different). A motorcycle that is not generally capable of doing 30mph+ is classed as a “Limited Use Motorcycle”, and licensed differently. Having demoed the Scoot on flat ground, I can vouch that it was tough for an experienced rider like me to exceed that limit– fortunate for this law, but unfortunate for other reasons (can be tough to stay away from / keep up with other traffic).

      2. falicon

        interesting…in my case it doesn’t matter (because I do have a class M)…but it would be a bummer for a lot of people if that’s the rule.I think it would be so much fun, especially for tourists, to be able to hop on one of these things and see the sights/experience the city…so I do hope that it comes here and is low-friction…

        1. candice

          The problem with the scooter rentals for tourists is that it’s dangerous — unknown city, not being taught how to properly drive a scooter, stuff like that. I’ve seen tourists texting in the rental 2-seat scooter things. So scary.In Louisiana it’s motorcycle license required for 50cc and up, so the rental scooters are all 49cc, etc.

        2. Gotham Gal

          I am pretty sure that the small electric scooters you do not need a license for. I am checking. Could be a state by state thing.

          1. falicon

            The electric motor is prob the sec. (hadn’t thought about that) That can prob. help classify it as a bike which would be great because then anyone can use it…

          2. pixiedust8

            It sounds like electric mopeds may be permitted now (I know I see people on them), but not scooters. This is from wikipedia, so may not be totally accurate:New YorkElectric motor assisted bicycles have been banned in the State of New York and are not permitted for on-road use.[68][69] It appears the only known allowance of an electric bicycle is if it is an electric powered moped, at this time. There is a proposed bill to allow ebikes. As of May 2009, Bill A2393(“Defines the term electric assisted bicycle”) has been passed in the NY State Assembly[70] and its corresponding Bill S4014, sponsored by Senator Thomas Morahan, passed the Transportation Committee of the New York State Senate on January 26, 2010.[71]

    2. Scoot Networks

      License requirements vary by state, but our scoots can’t exceed 30 MPH (except downhill!) so your normal drivers license should be fine in NY.

      1. falicon

        Cool thanks…of course now I feel like there’s a challenge in there too…I’ve got some pretty big hills by my house in NJ…wonder just how fast I can get one of those things up to… πŸ˜‰

  4. kenberger

    I love this service and company! Met them at Jason’s Launch Festival last year. They let me borrow a scoot all day to zip around to meetings; it was amazing how much I could get done, and it’s a blast.I also zipped around town with the founders. Hope to help them further.

  5. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    This sounds very cool and I hope they come to Toronto soon. As @awaldstein:disqus mentioned the bike shares are also an awesome program and I have used them in Toronto and Montreal and they are great (especially Montreal). It is not clear if they are making money or not yet but I hope they continue in the future

  6. Kirsten Lambertsen

    About time! I can’t wait for this to get to NYC. Just picture the streets will all those scooters instead of cars πŸ™‚

  7. daryn

    awesome.I’m a scooter rider too, and the biggest pain for me is taking care of it (I have a flat tire I haven’t fixed in a year) and leaving it parked on the street when I’m not riding daily – both of which are are painful than with a car. If I could just borrow one whenever I wanted, I’d ride a lot more often.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Seattle !

  8. Jonathan

    What a great idea! How do they get charged if they are sitting on the street? Do they come and scoop them up at night to replenish their power, then scatter them back around the City afterwards?

    1. Gotham Gal

      great question. lots of conversation around this one. more than likely there will be two batteries on the bike, places around the city to drop them off for a charge but more than likely people will have to be staffed to replace them around town. also, the hope is eventually there will be battery charged stations around town.

    2. Scoot Networks

      Right now you return the scoots to garages, parking lots, or offices where they can be plugged into a normal wall outlet (110AC). As we grow lots of possibilities open up!

  9. walker

    Won’t work – cost will exceed revenue. Zipcar is a good idea but will be crushed by hertz.

  10. Dory

    I’m crazy about you and Fred. You’re always on the cutting edge and always doing the right thing.

    1. Gotham Gal

      πŸ™‚ aw…

  11. Marjan Ghara

    These options start to get even more attractive as the price of taxi fares continue to go up in New York. Another 17% by Sept 2012. Three cab rides in a day could cost well over $30. Add the problem of trying to find a cab around the shift change (4pm-5pm) and a flexible scooter is a great alternative.

    1. Gotham Gal

      totally agree. 17% rise is steep!

  12. William Mougayar

    I saw them demo at NYC Tech Meetup & thought what a great idea! Yes, pls come to Toronto. Now I can drive one without having to buy it!