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Bird CEO on scooter startup copycats, unit economics, safety and seasonality (techcrunch.com)
72 points by orarbel1 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 122 comments





<Shameless-plug>

My analysis of Bird's unit economics in Tel Aviv:

https://twitter.com/ido_co/status/1080883756184023041

</Shameless-plug>


> A Bird costs ₪5 to unlock and ₪0.5 per minute of use ($1.34 and $0.13).

Wow, I find that pretty expensive.

I don't have scooter numbers for comparison and no idea aboul general cost of living in TLV, but in Munich I pay

- 1 EUR for 30min of rental bike ( negligible yearly cost of 3 EUR/year)

- 2.80 EUR for public transport (1.40 for short trips)

So yeah, the scooter is electric, but are people really using them for > 10minute rides?

Apparently they do.

> The average ride duration was 15.5 minutes.


In Sweden there is Lime competing with the Swedish VOI.

They both charge 10 sek (USD 1.1) to unlock, where VOI charges 0.165 and Lime charges 0.330 per minute.

Bus stops are everywhere and a single ticket costs $2.75 where a 24 hour ticket in the same city zone costs $5.50 (so you always get this if returning), in addition to 25% off any rider in addition to the first on the ticket.

Riding to work (5 min) and back from the grocery store to home (another 5) costs me $5.5 on a Lime, the same as the bus which allows me to ride anywhere for 24 hours, and $3.86 on a VOI.

For any distances longer than that I'd rather take the bus, since it's warm, comfortable and a notably safer ride.


In Switzerland Lime had to recall their scooters (at least in Basel and Zurich)

This was due to the unfortunate fact that the breaks suddenly engaged in mid ride with partially grave consequences.

It's a bit of a bummer when your scooter schreeches to a grinding halt, when going 25 KM/H.

The potentially bad thing is that your insurer may balk on your claim.


Yes, that is quite expensive. TLV also has Mobike non-electric bikes for about $1 per 30 min.

But take into consideration, that non-electric bikes are not very practical commute option during the Israeli summer (for most people).

Public transport (Bus only) is quite ineffective because of congestion.


I was pretty shocked at how expensive they are in London too. Our public transport isn't cheap compared to mainland Europe, but wow there's no chance I'm paying ~£3-5 for a 10-15 minute ride vs £2.90 for a peak tube journey, £1.50 for 90 mins of bus usage, or £2 for 30 minutes on a bike.

I tested li.me e-bikes in London for the 3 times I had the free start ride (invitee bonus).

The bikes are ok, the electric push helps (you still have to pedal, but it levels out the effort, so going uphill is kind of the same effort as going level), and the convenience of just taking them from wherever and leave them where you feel like is really nice.

But holy shit they are expensive. My commute by bike would be aprox 30 mins, that is 5.5 pounds per ride - the tube is only 2.9 pounds, the bus only 1.5 pounds. A 1-year Santander bike subscription is only 90 pounds, and the ride is almost equally nice.

At 5 pounds per ride, buying a commute scooter would break even in 2 months. To make it worthwhile to ride the electric bikes, the price would have to come in at about half to be somewhere between the tube (which moves you fast, but you have to walk a bit to the station) and bus (which moves slower, but the stations are much closer to your home, usually), at 2.5 pounds per 30 min ride (a bit above Santander which charges 2 pounds per 30 mins, but which are not electric).


When I lived in London (before I got brave/foolish and rode a bike all year round) - I combined a 2nd hand electric scooter and the tube. Scooter was £20 - and in no way would have driven me across London - got a hour tops out of the battery and slowed significantly after 45 mins.

Shooting along to a station and then letting the tube get me the 13 miles across London and then jumping back on the scooter was great.

Downsides:

This wasn't long after the tube bombing and I was stopped a few times to discuss the scooter - was it petrol powered? Was it safe to take on the tube)

It was heavy (this was 2004 and I know they have come a long way)

It wasn't fun in the rain

Stowing it on a train or bus was a hassle (again this was a 2004 model - they likely fold better now)

Had a vague unease that I'd get stopped for either riding on the road or the pavement - potential risks of getting points on your licence.

-

In the end I actually got a Razor push scooter and got nearly the same benefit, but with no charging.

But finally I got a job with room to store bikes, and a shower and never looked back. Far faster than any other option for me, and paid for itself very swiftly (started on a £150 bike, and worked way up to a nicer one in time with the savings I'd made.)


your comment is 100x more informative and interesting than the main article :)

Thanks. I tried to post it to HN but got no traction :)

So what is the VC angle with these super high valuation scooter startups? It doesn't seem very defensible. The barrier to entry isn't very high. And it doesn't seem that customer loyalty would be much of a factor.

The most obvious strategy I see is that the VCs think they can pump these companies then dump them on the open markets and cash out before thousands of global, regional, and local competitors flood in and make their non defensible positions obvious.


Electric scooters are a fruiting body of the electric car industry (brushless hub motors, batteries etc wouldn't have gotten so developed just for scooters)

Maybe the scooter rentals are propping up another of the vc's concerns?


All of it came out of mobile phones and r/c hobby gear IMO.

Pump and dump. Once the IPO is over and they had their ROI they don't care about what happens to investors or the company.

Here in Reno we have Lime bikes (the scooters were withdrawn after being deployed without city permission) and they are almost like litter - they are laying around all over the city but I almost never see anyone riding one. I'm all for bikes and bicycling but the fact that they have no designated docking stations means people leave them everywhere and to this old fart it is borderline blight.

oh so the space cars take to park and to ride is not an inconvenience? You're funny.

his point, using your analogy, is that cars have a designated parking space, but these dockless vehicles do not.

Most cars are just parked on the side of the road. At least in the UK. Not really "designated parking spaces". Sure now they accept it and draw white lines sometimes, but I bet it wasn't like that when cars were first introduced.

I rarely see cars parked in the middle of the sidewalk obstructing walkers or prank-parked in the middle of a grassy park. Lime bikes on the other hand ... every day.

cars parks next to roads, and drive on roads, that take a huge chunks of space forcing us to walk or ride bikes and scooters on a tiny space. I see people are pro-cars here.

Bad title - article does not cover unit economics at all (it's barely mentioned)

> The pair hit on a number of topics, including the unit economics, safety and seasonality of the scooter business


It is discussed in paragraphs 4-7. No real figures are given, but you wouldn't expect them to be in an informal interview.

Here's the meatiest statement. Not very useful.

> What we see on the unit economics of those, it’s like night and day


> “The deeper I get into transportation, the more I realize we don’t need autonomous vehicles, we don’t need tunnels, all we need are more bike lanes,” he said.

Well said.


Can we please get parked scooters off the sidewalk where they present a safety hazard to visually and mobility impaired people?

I signed up to be a charger for the two local services. Mostly used it to report poorly parked scooters (one man in his 40s just rode up and parked the scooter in front of the supermarket doors so that noone could exit, wtf?).

You can carefully lift them to the side, but people's inability to think of others being manifested so clearly is making me lose faith in people.


Can we please reduce the space cars use so that we can take advantage of it as bike/scooter riders or pedestrians?

Sometimes with progress, you gotta break a few legs.

You can't make l'omelette without breaking l'eggs.

Sometimes with progress, you gotta break a few legs.

Where “progress” is synonymous with “profit” and the things being broken aren’t yours. Having said that if you’re volunteering, I know a guy with a hammer.


I'm just making an observation of the facts, not positing a moral good or bad to progress.

Its not a true oberservation of facts though. Progress is achievable without any breaking of legs

Name one technology disruption that caused no pain for anyone?

With user taxi drivers lost their monopolies, the car put horse and buggies out of business, amazon put many retailers out of business etc. etc.

I can't think of one advancement that had 0 negative effects on anybody. I don't even know why someone would argue otherwise, i thought this was a pretty common position in somewhere like HN.

Sure you can say that the overall benefits were easily worth it, but its irrelevant to my point that there is always eggs broken along the way.


Wouldn't benches, trees and just about everything else be a hazard to those people too?

Benches and trees generally aren't in the middle of sidewalks.

and they generally don't move overnight...

Meanwhile in San Francisco we are stuck with two unknown companies, a very low amount of scooters, no scooters in the evening (after 9pm I think?), and you can't ride one if you don't have a driver license.

For a tech-pole, it is quite a backward city.


The scooters must be lowering someones land value.

You need a driver's license? Why?

From the article:

> On safety: In the year or so that scooters hit the mainstream in the U.S., there were casualties. Moreover, many — kids included — realized just how easy it is to get away with scootering sans helmet, while others rode throughout the night. Bird, to keep children off scooters, at least, requires customers to provide a driver’s license when they sign up. Given the number of issues that have arisen as scooters become increasingly popular, improved safety measures are bound to be in the news in the year ahead.

Apparently it's for a reason colinear to needing licenses to drive cars, ie, to limit irresponsible scooterers and minors who tend to disregard rules and be the most brash riders.

It just so happens it's also conveniently a great way to keep poor people and homeless people from making use of this even if they had the money for a ride, but then again maybe that's for their own good.


It happens to also penalize people who are of age but do not have a driver's license, like me. Why would I need to learn how to ride a car to drive these? No way.

No idea.

Do you think riding a scooter that can go 20mph shouldn't require a driving licence - which is a very low bar in the states I believe.

You can ride a bike much faster with no license.

Well it's a given bike riders should be licensed and plated. It's insane that in many places bike riders using the public roads don't require 3rd party insurance.

For what purpose other than locking kids and poor people out of the world and worsening traffic and health issues. If 2 cyclists crash in to each other they will cause minimal property damage and any medical costs should be covered by the government.

There are so many other situations where people can accidentally cause property damage that don't require insurance. Its just the cars have a very high risk of causing huge amounts of damage very easily.


> any medical costs should be covered by the government

Why? If I get sick, I need to go bankrupt if I don't have an insurance, but if I run a stop sign on a bicycle, government should pay for medical bill?

This would make more sense in countries that have universal healthcare. USA isn't one of those.


no, government should pay in both cases as is the norm in most developed countries.

  If 2 cyclists crash in to each other they will cause minimal property damage 
Cyclists hitting pedestrians have caused death in SF.

True! Would a license or plate on the bike have changed that?

With license and registration can also come better enforcement of traffic laws, which would help. Anecdotally, I haven't seen anyone on here support car drivers breaking traffic laws (except maybe minor speeding) but on several occasions seen people defending bicyclists breaking traffic laws- trading safe behavior for convenience.

Additionally, I imagine it would be easier to get (and require) bicyclists to carry catastrophic insurance, since carrying a license would at least go some way towards demonstrating safe behavior. By carrying such insurance, both cyclists and surviving family would be protected from at least some of the financial burdens of accidents.

So, yes on two counts: Incentive for safer cycling and easier access to (and possibly mandated) financial protection from accidents.


Good point about insurance.

It's very hard for a cyclist to hit and run. On a bicycle, even when it's not your mistake, a mistake will usually end up killing or hurting the cyclist. It's not like a car where you can kill a non-trivial amount of people and see zero repercussions.

  It's very hard for a cyclist to hit and run
Actually, in most SF bike-pedestrian collisions resulting in pedestrian injury, the cyclist flees.

Example:

https://patch.com/california/san-francisco/pedestrians-hospi...


You say in most cases but then link to a single case. You can find a single case of anything on the internet. Doesn't make it meaningful.

I should have written most reported, since there can be any number of unreported cases. But the fact stands; you can check with SFPD and SFMTA. I could post 3 more examples, but you'd just claim that there are more that don't flee but somehow evade SFPD documentation.

because cars haven't...

Not if your a 25 year old coder.

> it's a given bike riders should be licensed and plated

No, it's not a given. I've never heard anyone want that before


Pretty common position here in australia.

Maybe for bogans ranting on talk back radio but its absolutely not a common position for regular people otherwise it would have become the law.

Maybe we should also require people going skateboarding to be licensed. Or licence people who are running too quickly - who knows, they could accidentally knock someone over. Better ensure they get liability insurance.

They meant bicycles, not motorcycles.

So you shouldn't be able to ride a bike until you're 18? All of that because cars? Good joke.

Motorized bikes don't require one.

I still think Bird's success is merely symptomatic of American shortsighted solutions to systemic US urban planning issues. I doubt this will reach the same level of popularity in cities/countries with great public transit, highly walkable streets, and good existing last mile solutions (bikeshares, bikelanes, high bus coverage), but I'm happy to eat my words if I'm just not seeing it and folks from Amsterdam, Seoul, Tokyo, NYC or Berlin would like to chime in and prove me wrong.

The biggest challenge I see of existing well-executed public transit/cities is last mile coverage for handicapped/disabled folks and sufficient infrastructure for them in stations without having to resort to uber/lyft for <1mile transit. If Bird/scooter industry expanded into solving these problems I would greatly celebrate. I get frustrated seeing Bird celebrated as the next coming of the steam engine, when it barely moves the needle for regular transit, without remotely addressing the biggest long-standing issues of the space.


I (also?) think these disruptive transport plays are a bit grubby, and probably predating public transport shared costs and the commons. Here in brisbane, they basically became scofflaw over "riding without helmet" and "riding on pavement" to force the issue. Why the state authorities caved instead of taking them to the cleaners is beyond me.

We've already started to have drunks on scooters, elderly people feeling exposed to random vehicle hits, no-helmet fine issues, public nuisance, juicers hiding scooters to game the demand pricing/charging..

What we needed was integrated public transport on a non-profit basis. Lower cost fares, better integration. We got half of it. A really good high circumference e-ticket integrated fare scheme, but not cheap and with some serious computer-systems weaknesses. The transport planners are obsessed with reducing public cost, not with increasing public utility.


I see these scooters as somewhat good for the society if it'd be accompanied by enforcement- proper docks or allotted areas and no riding on the sidewalk and following the rules of traffic flow.

As it is right now it's a mobility issue for the disabled. I come from a country with no sidewalks with the disabled forever left to the mercy of their caretakers. I was simply amazed by the level of planning to accommodate them in the US. But now these scooters are blocking the sidewalks everywhere. What are the disabled going to do? Get up and move the scooter?


I hear that complaint and I think it was certainly more true when first launched, at least in Seattle and DC. Nowadays it seems like people are parking them better on average

At least not in my metro. It's still haphazardly scattered everywhere. The thing is it need not be the riders themselves who do this. Unlike a docked bike that can't be moved the scooters can be lifted by anyone. Vandals definitely move it, throw it in water bodies, cut the wire and sometimes just knock it over.

I’m in Denver. I’ve seen no change. Plus we have numerous different companies operating now. I regularly see them blocking the sidewalk entirely or all of them have been toppled over.

Does Seattle have Bird scooters? I haven't seen any scooters here, just bikes.

No, no scooters. I was thinking of the bikes when including Seattle there.

It might just be me, but I'm having a hard time following your post due to these terms:

> scofflaw

> taking to the cleaners

> juicers

I normally would just go look it up, but this is a high density of jargon/colloquialisms. Or maybe it's not and I just never heard them, but I'm just offering my data point here.


I think you were just a little unlucky and hit a post with a few words and phrases you don't know.

Scofflaw is a pretty old word, and being a combination of scoff and law many people could work out its meaning.

Take someone to the cleaners is a fairly common idiom.

Juicers seems to be slang related to the people who charge up the scooters, but again, juice + er is a pattern many people can pick up on.


> Juicers seems to be slang related to the people who charge up the scooters, but again, juice + er is a pattern many people can pick up on.

It probably is. Saying something is "out of juice" to mean "out of power" has a fairly long history. It's a pretty straightforward to extend that slang to someone who restores power to things by recharging them.


One of the things I enjoy most about HN is learning the idiomatic language of other cultures, even if I have to look a word up.

I don’t think that asking people to use bland, lowest common denominator language is an incentive for smart people to participate. This isn’t the Simplified English version of Wikipedia.



Juicers is a lime only term afaik (it referd to someone who charges lime scooters) and the rest are reasonably common Australian expressions (maybe scofflaw is a little less common).

In U.S. vernacular, "juicer" generally connotes someone using performance enhancing drugs.

Juicers I would read as drug addicts given its an Australian

Straya at its finest

And which other thing will you de prioritise or will you increase taxes

I would definitely increase taxes. I'm not small government minded, and I am not anti tax. AFAIK its by far the best way to get public utility functions done. The exceptions are out there: Japan Rail is a good example of an efficient non-public utility running, with no subsidy. So I don't claim its the only model, but its the one I like best. Most of the "but its my money" arguments come from people with disposable income, or who are in denial about how much the depend on centrally managed spend (again, IMNSHO)

In my own economy, attempts to avoid public support for transport have marginalized investment, and meant service is very expensive, and not well suited to local communities. A number of things like Uber have wrecked the taxi industry, and Lime appears to be squeezing a rental-bike model funded out of Bus Shelter advertizing. This doesn't make me happy.


I live in Paris with an arguably good public transport system in place and Lime scooters were quite popular this summer. This is only anecdotally ofc, but you see a lot of people using them. There are not as many Bird scooters yet though.

Where I see the niche is medium distances were the metro is not a fast solution but if scooters are ubiquitously available for these situations, I see value in them.

And yeah, Tourists seem to love them.


I know they are popular in a variety of places, but I think transit options that are disproportionately popular with tourists compared to the locals are a glaring indicator of being long-term inefficient (and potentially harmful to the development of the better options already present in the city). To me SF's tendency to celebrate random experimental transit is the main reason public transit is so underdeveloped here. Do you think there are potentially better solutions for the niche filled by scooters in Paris that could integrate more fluidly with existing transit or are scooters the global maxima with existing tech?

I tried a Lime in Paris last fall and it was terrifying. Being 3 feet away from cars going 25 kph, one slight mistake and you're dead. Never again. Bikes feel a lot safer.

> I doubt this will reach the same level of popularity in cities/countries with great public transit, highly walkable streets,

I hope you are right. The littering / parking isn't the biggest problem or nuisance. It's the fact that the riders of these "e-scooters" almost always ride on the sidewalks / footpaths and cause safety hazard to pedestrians. Forget the fact that it's illegal[1] in most states to ride a motorized vehicle (other than disability vehicles) on the sidewalks, almost all of these lyme, scoot, bird riders ignore it and routinely cause collisions in San Francisco.

[1] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/scooters

> A motorized scooter may be operated on a bicycle path, trail or bikeway, but not on a sidewalk.

Related: Reminder: It Is Illegal to Ride Scooters On City Sidewalks => https://sf.curbed.com/2016/6/1/11831080/scooters-sidewalks-i...


> It's the fact that the riders of these "e-scooters" almost always ride on the sidewalks / footpaths and cause safety hazard to pedestrians.

It's more dangerous to ride them on streets, even on bike paths. Who cares if it's illegal? I'd rather ride on the sidewalk then get hit by a car trying to pass me at 45 mph.


> Who cares if it's illegal?

The pedestrians that are endangered by relatively high speed motorized vehicles riding on sidewalks care. It's totally reasonable for you to not want to ride a scooter on the street, but that doesn't entitle you to break the law and make sidewalks less safe for others.


I really haven't seen scooter riding on the sidewalk as a problem out in my area. People already ride bikes and skateboards and everything else, plus, a lot of sidewalks are under utilized with very few pedestrians as it is.

And what entitles drivers to make the streets very unsafe for everyone?

The democratic law of the land. I don't like it any more than you do - I'm all for increased penalties when drivers kill people, and/or banning cars from city-center streets - but society functions when people follow the democratic process to change laws they disagree with rather than just breaking them.

Breaking laws is almost always the first stage of having them fixed. People can now see there is a demand for electric scooters and they need a safe way to ride them. Without riding them on the footpath there would never be any visible demand for them and everyone would just continue driving to work.

It's the cars that kill and maim pedestrians and drive scooter riders to the sidewalks. They're your real enemy.

At least for bikes, it's fairly well accepted that riding on the sidewalk is less safe than riding on the road: http://bicyclesafe.com/#crosswalk

The chance of getting hit from behind likely decreases on the sidewalk, but the chance of getting hit from turning vehicles increases greatly. The chance of being hit by turning vehicles is higher in general as far as I remember, too.


  It's more dangerous to ride them on streets, even on bike paths. Who cares if it's illegal?
The same would apply to motorcycles. It's clearly safer for the motorcyclist to ride on the sidewalk than on the road, in the mix with cars.

Who cares if it's illegal? Pretty much everyone else.


FWIW I sometimes use a Lime to get to work in Oakland on a straight-shot road, with a bike lane, that already has a bus doing that exact route.

I use the scooter because its faster than the bus for about the same price ~$3. And super fun.


I don't agree, London and Paris really took to their bike share systems. This will appeal to even more people.

The Paris bike share system became completely dysfunctional last year when they changed the contractor. It's a huge embarrassment for the city, because it had worked well before. I hope they fix it.

Oh boy, the Velov' of Lyon (which I believe were the very first iteration of these bike share systems) are completely broken since they changed them. Now you can't get one from a station without the app, and the app doesn't work for most people. It's a shit show.

I wish you were right, but there are people with deep pockets who believe otherwise:

https://www.eu-startups.com/2018/12/dott-raises-funding/

Amsterdam-based e-scooter startup dott raises €20 million to expand across European cities


Lime and Bird are pretty popular in Paris. A city with great public transit.

[flagged]


What about the American mind makes electric scooters so alluring? That statement sounds ridiculous.

I don’t know and I can’t explain it. If you mention a train to an American they will start talking about how far it is from Miami to Seattle as if that matters and despite the fact that Ohio is more densely populated than Spain. If you bring up walking someone will ask how you can walk home from the grocery store, apparently unaware of the fact that 95% of people bring home their food by foot. If you talk about biking Americans will wonder about rain and snow, as if nobody bikes in Netherlands and Finland. It’s a strange, willful ignorance that allows Americans to look around and say “what this town needs is a hyperloop.”

I have noticed the same thing just in general society unrelated to Americans. When you propose an alternative that works 95% of the time people will find that edge case where it doesn't work and refuse to acknowledge the solution.

A similar related event was when stop lights got converted to LEDs. In some areas in some times of the year there would be snow that covers up the light which now no longer runs hot enough to melt it. News at the time sensationalized this issue making it seem like the LED stop lights were bad despite the obvious solution being to just put a heater on the light to run in those areas on those few days where it is needed.

When people suggest getting to work by bike they don't expect you to only ever use a bike for the rest of your life but to cut out the needless car trips that could be done by bike and leave the car until it is needed. The money you save on not using a car multiple times a day would easily pay for a taxi in the rare case you need it.


All these statements are nonsense.

There are train lines from Miami to Seattle, and the US rail system is the most efficient in the world for metrics it cares about: $/ton and on-time.

Miami to Seattle is ~4400km, which would be 11 hours at 400 km/h without making any stops, or 4 hours longer than a flight.

Many cities were built with automobiles as assumed modes of transport, so walking with groceries would be silly as you're expected to purchase more than you can carry from a more centralized store. The tradeoff for being reliant on a car is the cost of goods are lower in bulk. People walk home with groceries all the time in cities built before the automotive age. For example, everyone walks home with groceries in Manhattan.

People cycle all the time in rain/snow in northern US cycling friendly cities. Actually the best cycling cities in the US include Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and New York, which all have very rainy/snowy seasons.

No one is building hyperloops seriously. They're fun projects for bored wealth.


  I don’t know and I can’t explain it.
Have you, by any chance, seen most of these conversations happening on the internet?

It's my experience that you can say something 99% of people agree with, the 99% don't feel the need to reply with their support. But the 1% who disagree do feel the need to say so. And forums will validate this, with upvotes for well-reasoned discussion (i.e. disagreement), and downvotes for 'me too' comments.

If you posted "The bald eagle is a majestic creature" I'd get downvoted for replying "This! You tell 'em" but I'd get upvoted for replying "Bald eagles are much smaller than wedge-tailed eagles, and they have a call so sickly film makers use the call of the red tailed hawk instead"


> I don’t know and I can’t explain it.

I see, so you just said something that sounded edgy and cool to you that's backed up by no reasoning. Generally HN has higher quality discourse than this.


Although I disagree with GP's original phrasing, the parent comment: > If you mention a train to an American they will start talking about how far it is from Miami to Seattle as if that matters and despite the fact that Ohio is more densely populated than Spain. If you bring up walking someone will ask how you can walk home from the grocery store, apparently unaware of the fact that 95% of people bring home their food by foot. If you talk about biking Americans will wonder about rain and snow, as if nobody bikes in Netherlands and Finland. It’s a strange, willful ignorance that allows Americans to look around and say “what this town needs is a hyperloop.”

...describes a very real experience they had at least anecdotal experience with, which I too can relate to (getting those responses to those suggestions from Americans). I have some hypotheses for these, but honestly they have also been beaten to death by transit advocates elsewhere.


Any cities with outdoor moving sidewalks? I seem to only see those in airports but a giant moving sidewalk would be awesome

Las Vegas has some, but they seem to breakdown with any rain (like a lot of things in Las Vegas). It seems like the currently deployed tech would only work in a few locales.

Bird is trying to land (pun intended) in Amsterdam, but from what I've heard they're already losing so many employee scooters in the canals that it's becoming a problem. I already predicted this would happen when I first read about Bird online... I hate that Im right about how shitty people are.

Scooters are only truly safe in a separated bike/scooter lane, so given that cities have to invest in that infrastructure, they should ban Bird and others and only allow their own bike/scooter systems that are integrated into their own public transportation networks.

Cars are only safe in a separated car lane, so why not ban cars, remove the car lanes and transform them into bike / scooter lanes ?

> Cars are only safe in a separated car lane, so why not ban cars, remove the car lanes and transform them into bike / scooter lanes ?

Because streets were designed as car lanes, and bikes/scooters are niche transportation technologies [1] when compared to cars?

[1] Bikes and scooters are really only useful for short-distance individual transport. They do not handle long distances, groups, and cargo very well.


Except they were not.

Cars are just too dangerous to have anywhere near people. They should be banned from cities and suburbs. 40,000 people die every year in the US because of cars. Dumbest idea ever.


> Except they were not.

99% of the streets for miles and miles around me were built after the invention of the car for near-dedicated use by automobiles, and those that were not were converted to that design.

> Cars are just too dangerous to have anywhere near people. They should be banned from cities and suburbs.

You say that, but I'd like to see you move your family to new house without using an automobile to move your stuff.


A single digit percentage of suburb and city traffic in the United States are for activities that genuinely benefit from cars. Use a commercial vehicle to move your stuff, but for day to day travel many people use trains, bikes, or legs to move their families from location to location. We should be investing our transportation budget into more efficient methods than residential vehicle usage for daily commuting.

> A single digit percentage of suburb and city traffic in the United States are for activities that genuinely benefit from cars.

Citation needed. Your use of "genuinely" indicates to me that there's a large subjective component to that statistic. I'd believe that it's physically possible to replace 99% of "suburb and city traffic" with "trains, bikes, or legs." However, I'm not at all convinced that 99% does not "genuinely benefit" from cars. My guess is that such replacement probably requires a strong ideological commitment to car-disuse [1] in order to persevere in the face of real drawbacks.

[1] I know several people with such ideological commitments.


Cars make cities bad living habitat. This is well documented and you can compare any American city center with an European city center to understand that.

Good idea.



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