Flash flooding in Washington, DC has lost the capital region in chaos, with studies of water rescues, visitors closures, and power outages. The floods are additionally taking their toll on town’s 1000’s of bikes and scooters, with photos surfacing on social media of dockless automobiles floating forlornly in floodwaters.
Bird, Jump, and Lime, three of town’s five operators, instructed The Verge that their workers had actively engaged in eradicating scooters from the flooded areas. One other operator, Skip, was ordered by the town to drag its scooters off the streets last month following a battery hearth in a storage area. (We’re nonetheless attentive to listen to again from the opposite two firms, Lyft and Spin.) Whether or not these scooters will ever be still in service is an entirely different query.
Lime eliminated a significant portion of its fleet from the DC area in the present day, a spokesperson confirmed. All soggy scooters will likely be examined by the corporate’s mechanics, with any mandatory repairs or partial replacements made earlier than returning to service.
A spokesperson for Uber-Owned Jump stated the identical: “As a security precaution, we will take away or service any Jump bike or scooter in our fleet which will have been impacted by this flooding.” A Bird spokesperson mentioned all of its scooters that have been fished out of the floodwaters would obtain “a top-quality inspection” by its maintenance groups following pickup.
Unfortunately, the sight of an electrical scooter submerged in water isn’t an altogether unfamiliar picture in 2019. Since exploding on the scene in 2017, electric scooters have been drowned, burned, thrown from the tops of parking garages, and flung into bushes in cities throughout the country.
The lifetime of an electric scooter could be nasty, brutish, and brief — so brief that constructing a scooter with a lot-improved lifespan has change into a necessity for any scooter firm that’s hoping to remain in enterprise.
Drowning appears to be the most popular type of vandalism, although. According to Slate, the town of Oakland needed to fish 60 electric scooters out of Lake Merritt in merely the month of October. In Portland, Oregon, so many scooters have ended up within the Willamette River that some disgruntled Portlanders made a website, scootersintheriverpdx.com, that paperwork only what its URL guarantees.
Scooter companies are redesigning their scooters to be extra resilient and longer-lasting; however, none have but been capable of produce a scooter that’s ultimately water resilient — or one that floats.