Electric scooters in Seattle: Convenient and fun or dangerous and unnecessary?

Paige Stanley, Staff Writer

Recently electric scooter companies have been vying for an entrance into the congested Seattle streets. The scooters are expected to improve traffic by getting people out of their cars and onto scooters. In cities like Tacoma, San Francisco and St. Louis, companies, such as Lime and Bird have successfully introduced their scooters. There has been a recent debate on whether Seattle should give in to this new phenomenon or continue with only Lime bikes. Prep students address this debate and offer insight into whether they enjoy Lime Bikes and would welcome the new scooters.

With the success of the Lime transportation company in Seattle starting from their launch midsummer 2017, they have dominated over other bike share companies. The other two companies, Spin and Ofo, have left Seattle because they could not compete with the financial success of Lime through their introduction of electric bikes.

When asked whether he likes Lime bikes, Freshman Will Schimmelman responded, “My experience with Lime bikes so far has been that they are convenient, cheap, and helpful. They are very useful if you have to get somewhere, and they are everywhere so they are very accessible as well.”

With the discussion of introducing the new scooters, there have been some arguments against these scooters coming to Seattle, including whether they are necessary in addition to the Lime bikes already located throughout downtown and neighborhoods. According to a recent poll on the Seattle Prep Instagram, 39% of people say they use Lime bikes. Showing that there might be a lack of people using the electric scooters as well. However, on the same poll, 64% of students said that they would use the electric scooters if introduced. Electric scooter companies are still trying to seek out the same success of Lime. While most people say they would be a positive addition to the city, many are worried about the safety concerns. These include the speed of the scooters when rode on sidewalks, the lack of provided helmets and collisions with cars, bicycles and pedestrians in the busy streets.

Agreeing that electric scooters should not be introduced, Sophomore Maggie Green said, “If scooters were to attempt to corner the rideshare market, they would not be successful for the simple reason that they have no benefits in exercise.”

According to a recent survey sent out by Lime asking Seattleites if they would like to see new electric scooters in their city, nearly 3,000 people responded agreeing that scooters would be a positive addition to the city. On October 12, there was a Lime scooter pop-up in Westlake, to test whether people enjoyed the scooters and would welcome their entrance into their city streets. Reportedly, about 100 people enjoyed the experience.

“The addition of the Lime scooters would be another form of convenience for the city and be another fun way of transportation,” Schimmelman added. With the busy life of a Prep student, an easy, affordable and convenient form of transportation is an important factor when getting around the city, especially for underclassmen. Based on many Seattleite votes and Prep student votes, the addition of an electric scooter share company would be a fun and affordable way to decrease traffic congestion.