In an earlier post here talking about alternative commute options we mentioned the LimeBike electric scooters. Today, in San Francisco, we found several of them around the Ferry Building and SOMA district streets.
As with the bikes, their app is the key to getting a ride, but the prices are much higher! Up to half an hour on the bike costs $1 (or $0.50 if you’re a student) here in Alameda. The electric scooters cost $1 to unlock, and then $0.15 per minute. So, assuming you ride for the full 30 minutes, the scooter will cost you $5.50.
A daily commute for me is 10 minutes here in Alameda each way. That would be $5/day. Allowing for some days off etc, that’s around $1,000/year. For that, I could buy a new Micro Kickboard electric scooter of my own.
Even the bikes work out pretty expensive for regular use (assuming I could find one for both directions of my commute each day, it would work out at around $500/year).
While I think the idea of these bikes and scooters is great, I suspect that the current pricing model only really works for occasional users. A regular commuter would be much better off buying a bike or scooter.
Maybe LimeBike will add some kind of commuter friendly credit pre-purchase system, but unless the pricing drops dramatically from where it currently is, I can’t see these being an economic option for regular use.