San Francisco, the most popular testing ground for any startup, has had enough of electric scooters.
The city has decided that it is tired of being the testing grounds for these trendy vehicles. Although companies like Bird, LimeBikes, and Spin are trying to promote electric scooters for faster, more eco-friendly transportation, it has come at a price.
The war on scooters in San Francisco continues. This Bird has its QR code painted over and one of its cables cut. 17th and Harrison. pic.twitter.com/EO3BTK3j5p
— Scott Shapiro (@scottshapiro) April 22, 2018
In the last few weeks, San Francisco residents have started to vandalize Bird electric scooters and its counterparts, becoming more and more aggressive with each passing day.
Well, using a smartphone app, city residents can reserve a nearby scooter, ride around on it for a small fee, and, at the end of the journey, leave the scooter anywhere to be claimed by the next rider. Unlike many bike-sharing programs, these scooters don’t need to be attached to a special dock, so riders just hop off and walk away. Since the scooters do not have dedicated drop-off points like classic bike sharing programs, people just leave them anywhere.
This scooter drop-off system, or lack thereof, is what made San Francisco residents fight back. As shown in a flurry of tweets, people have found creative ways to demonstrate against these companies and scooters – they cut wires, cover the sensors with stickers, or simply throw them in the water.
— Alessandra Nölting (@anoelting) April 23, 2018
— Howard Kushlan (@HowardKushlan) April 23, 2018
Authorities are equally displeased. San Francisco regulators are moving to impound any electric scooter that doesn’t have a permit, trying to force startups like Bird or LimeBikes to stop testing their products without prior approval.
At 22nd Ave & Irving. @BirdRide Great service, but also great arrogance. After everything we discussed on Mon & Tue at the Board, your riders are still leaving these in horrible places. cc: @sfpublicworks pic.twitter.com/hc91BUAGzc
— Katy Tang (@SupervisorTang) April 19, 2018
The San Francisco City’s Attorney office has already issued a cease and desist order and the companies have until April 30th to come up with a solution and a feasible plan to stop the madness.
the scooter parking situation, now complicated by sidewalk chalk manifestos pic.twitter.com/E6OY6ESdaT
— Ellen Huet (@ellenhuet) April 24, 2018
Until then, electric scooters are at the mercy of angry San Franciscan residents.