The Drawl

What's the Deal with Electric Scooters, Anyway?

We size up the latest transit trend.

By Gwendolyn Knapp May 24, 2019 Published in the June 2019 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Vroom vroom.

Image: Shutterstock

There’s talk that the love-it-or-hate-it mode of transport known as the electric scooter, already zipping through scores of American cities, could finally come to Houston. While it’s never fun to be last to a trend, in this case it’s probably for the best. The city is trying to get some safety protocols in place before the scooters are dumped on every corner. To that end, Houston’s Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department may soon be in the process of drafting a proposal that, according to Chief Sustainability Officer Lara Cottingham, could eventually be submitted to City Council for approval. When, though? Whether it’s before dock-less hoverboards are invented remains to be seen. No one has provided a timeline. But the city does indeed seem to be paving the way for Houstonians to share dock-less, pay-per-use scooters. And as such, we decided the time was right to do our own analysis to sort out whether they’re a good idea in the first place.

↑ Upside

  • Fewer cars on the road, not that we’ll notice
  • Ends need for dreaded task known as “walking” in Houston
  • Cheaper to take out and abandon downtown than last week’s Bumble date
  • Pedaling? We don’t need no stinkin’ pedaling
  • Good excuse to buy helmet covered in “space cats”
  • Always wanted to join a cult, this could be it
  • Justifies incessant urge to sing it’s ‘electric, boogie-oogie-oogie’
  • Fulfills childhood dream Mother deemed “too dangerous”

↓ Downside

  • Wind in face may contain benzene
  • These handles were touched by how many tweens again?
  • We’ve seen what’s happened to Austin
  • Like something else, potentially silent but deadly
  • “Micromobility” yet another billion-dollar industry collecting your data
  • Doesn’t address our plastic straw problem
  • No faster than the broom you rode in on
  • Mother always right
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