An army of identical units
Every hundred meters or so, there is a scooter “parked” in the middle of the sidewalk. The quotes are here to emphasize the fact that the scooter is rather abandoned. The new wunder kid in town is small, fast and rather cheap to produce. With a top speed of 30 km/h (19 mph), the scooter is as fast as the bus. The additional flexibility given by the size is more than enough to make the small two wheeler the prefered mean of transportation of the 25 – 35 years.
New kid on the block
During the last two months, I have seen many scooters crossing the streets. They are fast and they feature a black-white-green livery. Always the same make and model. the provider is Lime. The official website features a chart of rules for the scooter service, named Lime-S Etiquette. From what I have noticed, they are ignored completely. Let’s see them one by one. And, by the way, the Lime riders are also known as juicers. Quite the jargon.
The first rule is explicit: all riders must be at least 18. Most of the riders I have seen are barely 16. Unles there is un unwritten rule that the riders must be small, I doubt they are of age.
Again, people need to be 18 in order to have a car license. As seen in the previous section, it is doubtful that the users of Lime have the aforementioned license. The Achille’s heel is the smartphone. Anyone with a Lime-registered smartphone can unlock a scooter and use it. Because Lime functions only with a mobile app. Can I borrow your phone for an hour ?
The etiquette uses the word please, but in this case it is more a request than an indication. I have never seen a Lime rider with head protective gear.
The scoter must be properly parked on the curbside. I have taken pictures of many Lime scooters abandoned in the middle of the curbside. Ostentative, offending, without respect to the other people. Be sure I will post some photos later.
Stay tuned for more ….