Why are you commuting with electric scooter
Why are you commuting with electric scooter?
For the past few months, I have been commuting with electric scooter to work. It was originally designed to reduce my carbon footprint, but in the process, I saved an average of $30 and 30 minutes a day—and also had more fun. This is why I changed the way I commuting with electric scooter and how I decided to buy an electric scooter.
Why choose green commuting?
Since the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report in October last year, estimating that humans have 12 years to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, I have been looking for ways to make a personal impact.
In addition to switching to renewable energy and choosing local and plant-based foods more frequently, green commuting has been appearing near the top of a list of personal ways to reduce their carbon footprint, such as this list from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
But what prompted me to change in the end was the combination of environment and practical considerations.
We live in Prospect Hill in Somerville, and as the Green Line Extension (GLX) project progresses, the new Union Square T station will be located nearby. The redevelopment of GLX and the wider Union Square is exciting, but for the time being, public transportation options are limited, and congestion is exacerbated by building and population growth.
In the past few years, I commuted with Uber and Lyft. Although the door-to-door service is convenient, my 3.2-mile commute takes an average of 45-60 minutes one way. My daily expenses are $30-50-quite expensive, but not much more expensive than renting a parking space near my office.
This commute usually takes me past a Mercedes dealer on the Monsignor O’Brien highway, with a helipad on the roof. I think I have noticed helicopters before, but never really thought about it.
One night earlier this year, I saw a helicopter take off from a car dealer. It hovered for a moment, then tilted the nose down slightly, and then galloped away.
A few minutes passed, and I barely moved. There are no cars around me either.
I looked around and saw a vehicle designed for six or more people, but there were only one or two people in it. Idling and crawling. Crawling, idling.
I am not trying to single out any particular polluter or polluter in this article.
But, that day, I can’t help but imagine that the passengers on the helicopter were jostling with their fingers on the arteries of the city blocked by the high-emission vehicles they sold us to buy high-emission helicopters in order to avoid all this. A faint smile. congestion.
Although I have heard this sentence many times, it was not until that moment that I really understood that I was not “in a traffic jam”-I was in a traffic jam.
My commute is unsustainable, it does not work for me, and I increase the congestion that affects all of us. It’s time to change.
Why is an electric scooter?
When I started to rethink my commute, I had two basic criteria:
1.Minimize my carbon footprint
I did not spend much time studying helicopters, although I have seen how effective they are in avoiding traffic.
Electric vehicles (such as Evelyn’s) will be more environmentally friendly than Lyft, but they are expensive to purchase, park, insure, and maintain. We are a car family, and in 3.5 years, we only drove 12,000 miles on that car. If one day we buy another car, it will be electric. But for my 3.2-mile commute? A car is too much. Moreover, I will still be traffic.
But why is it a scooter? Why not bicycles or other personal electric vehicles such as electric bicycles, electric skateboards or unicycles?
For many people, any of these may be a reasonable choice, and personal preference is important. The reasons why electric scooters attract me include:
Portability and storage-most electric scooters can be folded, some are small and lightweight, and can be taken on trains or buses. I put mine indoors at home and under the desk in the office.
Strength-I am interested in the ability to climb mountains and travel miles without sweating.
Safety and stability-Although e-skateboards and unicycles also look interesting (I see more and more when commuting), I think the learning curve of scooters will be shorter, handlebars and optional suspension It will make me safer and more stable. It is more stable on hills and irregular terrain.
Fun-My main consideration is functionality, but the pileless scooter I ride is very interesting.
As my experience with electric scooters is getting richer, I have learned that there are also situations where they are not suitable.
If burning calories is your top priority in your commute, walking, cycling or scooter are better choices. An electric scooter can be exhilarating, but it is not exactly exercise.
Most electric scooters are also not waterproof, so on days when heavy rain or standing water is expected, you may need a substitute. In colder temperatures, the range and speed may also decrease, so even if the road is unobstructed, you may not be able to choose a scooter in some winters.
Buying vs. Renting
When visiting Denver, Phoenix, and Ft., I have experienced dockless rental services like Bird and Lime. Lauderdale-but I know they are not available in Boston, and Somerville and Cambridge sent some rental service packages last fall for unannounced and unauthorized arrivals.
Since leasing is not a reliable option, I started researching the purchase of electric scooters and saw huge benefits for riders and the community.
The benefits of rider ownership (as opposed to dockless sharing) include:
The scooter can be used reliably at home and at work
Helmet is ready to use
You can choose the right vehicle according to your specific needs and customize it with accessories
Reduce long-term costs
Benefits of community ownership:
One less car on the road during peak hours
Smallest sidewalk clutter
A more responsible driver
As a commuter, it is obvious that owning a scooter is better than renting it.
Although dockless sharing services have received most of the mainstream attention, the new electric scooters sold by Segway Ninebot, Boosted, and Bird reflect the growing demand for scooters that riders can own rather than rent.
Choose a scooter
Although the category of electric scooters to buy is still relatively new, I find that there are already many options to meet different needs and budgets, and there are some good resources to help you research and make decisions.
For example, the electric scooter community on Reddit has produced this handy buyer’s guide, and Micah Toll of Electrek (a Cantabrigian) frequently reviews electric scooters and other personal electric vehicles.
In the research process, it is easy to get lost when comparing features and specifications. My advice is to focus on the distance and terrain you have to travel and the portability of the scooter you want.
If you are traveling long distances, driving on potholes or poorly paved roads, or driving on steep hillsides, you may want to consider a scooter with the following features:
A larger capacity battery can achieve a larger charging range
Higher wattage motors or dual motors, enabling the scooter to climb higher-level hills
Suspension and pneumatic tires to ensure safe and stable driving on rough terrain
Note that these types of performance enhancements often increase the price and weight/volume of the scooter.
For example, my scooter can easily handle potholes and hills near me. But it also weighs more than 70 pounds. I can’t take it on the bus, and I don’t want to lift it up more than two floors of stairs.
My colleague’s scooter weighs 28 pounds and is more portable. If you need to supplement the first/last mile of commuting by bus, train, or boat, you will need something compact and easy to roll or carry.
When you are ready to buy, you will find some popular scooters on Amazon, although there are not some more powerful commuter-oriented options out there. Professional dealers such as Rev Rides, eWheels and Urban Machina provide scooters and replacement parts, and most scooter manufacturers also have online stores that you can buy directly.
Safety & Sharing the Road
While I spent months researching and planning my new commute, safety — mine and others — was my biggest concern. I am grateful for initiatives like Vision Zero, which aim to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries while making cities more friendly to greener transportation options. I definitely don’t want to end up being a little yellow dot on the Vision Zero Crash Data Dashboard.
The few studies on the safety of electric scooters, such as this one, tend to focus on dockless shared scooters and ownership.
On the subject, the biggest safety issues for officials and the public seem to be:
The rider does not wear a helmet
A new, untrained rider has an accident
Unclear riding location, unsafe behavior in shared space
After months of research and cycling, my opinion is that safety guidelines for cyclists are usually good advice for e-scooter riders, and in some cases they should be more cautious.
A helmet is a must at all times.
My scooter has headlights and taillights installed on the platform, but to improve visibility, I added a headlight to the handlebar, an accelerometer-driven brake light clipped to the backpack, and some reflective tapes.
I also inserted a turn signal in the handlebar so that I can indicate a turn without loosening the handlebar.
Before cycling in public, I spent an afternoon in an empty parking lot, familiarizing myself with the vehicle and practicing fast parking, sharp turns and other maneuvers.
On the way to and from work, I ride on the bike lane. I am very careful to be polite to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. If I had to pass through a crowded area, I would get off the car and ride a scooter.
Perhaps most importantly, I am fully absorbed in the ride and the surrounding environment. There are no earplugs, phones or other interference factors.
Before hitting the road for the first time, I was worried about the reaction of cars and bicycles to electric scooters.
In fact, I found cyclists very agreeable; one thanked me for riding carefully, and the other very helpfully pointed out that my tyres were flat. The car is also very polite.
I think if we all follow the golden rules and applicable laws, then we are likely to continue to get along.
Responsible scooter ownership
Compared with leasing, in addition to the benefits of owning a scooter, it also requires some responsibilities.
Most electric scooters have a non-removable battery, so you may charge the vehicle in the place where the battery is stored. Charging usually takes 2-6 hours. To avoid overcharging, which will shorten battery life, you may need to use a basic socket timer, such as a timer for holiday lights.
Parking and storage
You may want to park your electric scooter indoors to prevent theft, extend battery life, and maximize performance. Your apartment or office building may have a policy regarding where or how to store scooters, so please check in advance.
If you need to park your scooter in a public place, I recommend locking it in a location dedicated to bicycles.
Maintenance and repair
As a scooter owner, you definitely need to replace, repair or maintain something at some point.
If your scooter is equipped with pneumatic tires, I suggest you order replacement tires and inner tubes as early as possible-on the roads of Boston, it is only a matter of time before you will blow out the tires.
Most of the daily repairs and maintenance can be done by yourself. YouTube is your friend, and if you can’t find an instructional video covering your specific problem, you can usually find another owner who can help in one of the online forums.
If you still find yourself trapped, you may be lucky enough to turn to a bicycle store for help. In my case, Tom and Somervelo’s team were lifeguards when it was found that a flat tire was particularly difficult to repair.
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