What’s the Deal With These Scooters — And Who Are They For?

Andy DiDorosi

You may have heard about, seen, or even ridden on one of the many electric-powered scooters that have shown up in communities across Michigan, including in Detroit and Ann Arbor. They’re marketed as micro-bility, making it easy for people in dense downtown regions to get short distances, quickly. You find the scooters by GPS, pick it up, pay with a credit card, and off you go.

But there are also some potential drawbacks. You don’t have to put the scooters back anywhere in particular, so they can look scattershot or junky, they run out of battery power and must be located and recharged, and they are only placed in regions of the city with heavy density of young working people with smartphones and disposable income.

So what are these scooters, what is the business model, and will they be a sustainable form of micro mobility in cities for years to come?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by Laura Bliss, staff writer at CityLab, and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, associate dean of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and professor with the Department of Urban Planning. And he has a round-table discussion about how the youth of Detroit are using the new battery powered scooters. Panelists include Andy DiDorosi, founder of Detroit Bus Company, David McGhee, program director leading the Foundation’s Youth Development and Youth Employment at the Skillman Foundation, and James Feagin, a local entrepreneur and consultant.

To hear the conversation, click on the audio player above.



Image credit: Andy DiDorosi

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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