Over the last few years, an abundance of shared micromobility options like electric scooters (or e-scooters) have popped up in cities around the world. This latest transit phenomenon has become so popular that the National Association of City Transportation Officials reported people took 38.5 million shared e-scooter trips in 2018, and the number has only grown since then.
Much like bike shares, e-scooters — also known as last-mile vehicles — are available for the public’s use at a low cost and no commitment via a smartphone app. While most e-scooter rentals are very similar, we ranked some of the most popular e-scooter brands like Bird, Lime, and Lyft according to their few key differences – so you can make a more informed decision the next time you want to zip from the train to the office.
SHARED E-SCOOTERS RANKED
BEST E-SCOOTER AVAILABILITY
Bird, based in Santa Monica, CA, was one of the first shared e-scooter providers on the scene. Those who live in the area can likely remember the morning they woke up to discover Birds on nearly every corner on the West Side. Since then, the brand has expanded to more than 100 cities and counting, making it the largest widespread fleet globally. They also recently launched their Quick Start feature that makes it easier and more efficient to start a ride via Bluetooth.
CHEAPEST E-SCOOTER RENTAL
This category was a bit difficult to judge because all major e-scooter brands are nearly identically priced. That, and the prices vary depending on where you live. Lyft, however, just barely comes out on top as it costs $1 to unlock and $0.15-$0.29 per minute while most other options cost $0.15-$0.39. Hey, those extra cents count!
FARTHEST E-SCOOTER RANGE
Most e-scooters have a 15-mile range on a single charge. That could technically get you from the bottom of Manhattan to the very top (13.4 miles) on a one-way trip. If you’d like to get back riding the same rental, opt for a Lime e-scooter. It has an impressive 37-mile range.
BEST MONTHLY E-SCOOTER SUBSCRIPTION
If you’re a micromobility power user — as in, it’s part of your daily commute — you might want to consider a monthly e-scooter subscription. Bird now offers monthly unlimited rides for folks in Miami, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and select college campuses. All you do is sign up and rent for a month or more on your own terms. As part of the subscription, Bird will deliver a personal e-scooter to your door.
Whenever you head out on a scooter ride with any brand, don’t forget to wear ahelmet. You can shop our Heritage and Chapter Collection helmets, certified for bike, board, and e-scooter rides, here.
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