OP-ED: Electric Scooters Deliver Sweet Air and Look Fun, But Are They Destroying Society? Yes.
SANTA MONICA, CA - They seduce you with simple convenience but do not be fooled; scooter rentals are a public nuisance. Companies like Santa Monica based Bird have flooded cities like Los Angeles and Washington D.C. with rental scooters, scattered everywhere.
Helmetless and carefree, riders zip along city streets. You may have seen them and observed how fun it looks. One day, you get out of Sunday brunch with the in-laws and there it is: a jet-black scooter.
The idea pops into your head and calls you to action. Your father-in-law is asking about the deck renovation but you aren’t listening, you’re busy downloading the app on your phone.
Before he can rattle off his story about the useless contractor who did his guest bathroom, you’re off. The scooter is taking you far away from your worries.
Wind in your hair, you forget about the watered-down $12 mimosa and the joyless job you’ll return to tomorrow.
You hit a busted stretch of concrete and carefully steer your pleasure-craft into a raised section of sidewalk. The scooter leaves the ground. You’re flying on some salty, sweet air.
The scooter reconnects with earth, and you reconnect with reality: this is only a rental. This is just temporary. This two-wheeled steed is nothing more than a false escape. Soon you’ll be forced to return to your life, to some sort of explanation for fleeing brunch.
Half way through your Uber ride home, you realize, you don’t have a decent justification for leaving Brenda and her parents on that street corner. You’ve scored some super sweet air, but at what cost?
Beyond the risk of unregulated vehicles on the road, these scooters destroy lives. They are a sirens song, dashing lives on the enticing rocks of major altitude. You would be wise to voyage by other means.
Brenda says she forgives you for “whatever that was on Sunday” but you both know you can never go back to the time before the scooter.
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