Luckily, a Pittsburgh-based company wants to combat this growing trend. Scoobi, an on-demand scooter-share company, launched July 21. One hundred electric scooters are waiting for rental throughout the East End, Downtown, North Shore and South Side.
“Our goal is to reinvent the way Pittsburghers travel by providing an affordable, environmentally conscious way to experience the city,” said Scoobi CEO and Pittsburgh native Mike Moran.
Scoobi’s scooters are produced by California-based GenZe, which has worked with scooter-share companies throughout the U.S. The scooters are built in Ann Arbor, Mich.
GenZe spokesperson Collin Whitley says Scoobi will make it easy for Pittsburgh residents to move freely through the city.
“All the major metros are facing traffic problems and parking issues,” says Whitley. “People are not designing cities [based on] how people need to get around. They design so that vehicles move in gridlock.”
Scooters can be located and rented using Scoobi’s app. Only a standard Pennsylvania driver’s license is needed to rent a scooter, since the scooters are classified as 50 cc. Two helmets are available inside the storage space of each scooter and a safety video can be viewed on the app.
The scooters reach a top-speed of 30 mph, with a battery range of 34 miles. Whitley expects most riders to travel in 30-minute or 1-hour increments. It costs $5 for the first 15 minutes and $0.25 for each additional minute.
Motorized scooters are not allowed to ride in bike lanes or bike trails.
Scoobi’s app also displays the battery life of each scooter. When riding, the app tells users their carbon-footprint impact. Scooters can be docked and charged at stations in the East End and Downtown. They can also be dropped off and picked up at non-charging locations throughout the East End, North Shore and South Side.
Whitley says it will be great for people looking to commute Downtown from the East End, and for running chores like shopping for groceries. He says the scooter’s storage area is “quite large” and can fit the equivalent of two large backpacks.
“People generally live in a seven-mile island,” says Whitley of how most amenities can be reached within a seven-mile radius of one’s home. “A lot of times owning a car is not totally necessary.”