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The Rise of E-Scooters

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The Rise of E-Scooters

Madeline Chrome, Writer

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Electric scooters, more popularly known as e-scooters, have been on the rise in the United States, causing many cities to reconsider their safety policies.
In September of 2017, Bird, an electric scooter rental service, first appeared in the city of Santa Monica, California with the mission, according to Bird’s website, “to make cities more livable by reducing car usage, traffic, and carbon emissions.” Despite their apparent good intentions, Bird was met with backlash. Santa Monica officials issued cease and desist orders to get the scooters off the streets until new regulations could be set, as Bird had deposited the e-scooters in the city unannounced and without warning.
Letting the Santa Monica fiasco roll off their back, Bird continued spreading its service to other metropolitan cities, until e-scooters could be found in over 100 locations, including East Lansing, Michigan. Similar to Santa Monica, Bird experienced mixed reactions. Michigan State University impounded over one hundred e-scooters off their campus due to the fact that the scooters are being “left in the grass, bike racks, sidewalks, bus stops, and they are obstructing bicycle and pedestrian traffic,” said Captain Doug Monette, a spokesman for the MSU police department, to the Lansing State Journal. This is a common anxiety associated with e-scooters, especially in college campuses, and is most likely the main reason that East Lansing initially refrained from pursuing a licensing agreement with Bird.
Jarod Chrome, a sophomore at Western Michigan University, said the scooter he used while in downtown Lansing was, “really cool,” but also “kinda unsafe. Especially in crowded areas.”
As of right now, East Lansing is planning to form a licensing contract with Lime, another prominent e-scooter rental company, but has given no word of such arrangements with Bird. Lansing Mayor Andy Schor told the Lansing State Journal, “I really appreciate Lime is here, that they’ve worked with us to ensure the safety of pedestrians.” The intended agreement is to allow 250 Lime e-scooters to take their places on the streets of Lansing.

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The Rise of E-Scooters