I’m not surprised to hear the rental scooters don’t last long – I see the two-rider thing all the time and we only just got them here a few months ago.
I haven’t jumped on the rentals yet, but if I did, it would be because I’m interested in having it for last-mile connections after riding on transit. I’d be happy to pay a buck or two for a 10-block scooter ride, but I definitely do not want to carry a 25-pound scooter for the whole preceding bus trip. As I understand it, the whole attraction of the rental model is that you just grab a bike or scooter that you’re already more or less standing next to, hop on, and ride it to wherever you’re going, then leave it there. Certainly, if I used that model so often that I wound up spending the cost of a scooter every few months, I’d have to re-evaluate that point of view.
Actually, I have a relevant story. I had to take a trip to Frankfurt with my tween daughter. We had an appointment about a 20 minute walk from the big shopping area, and our schedule was a little tight so I was looking for ways to save time.
Regular transit (bus or subway) wouldn’t make sense – 7 minute walk to a bus stop on the right line, wait for bus, then 2 stops on the bus, which would have wound up saving next to no time. It was a pedestrian zone so a taxi or ride-sharing service wouldn’t work, but I saw all these scooters everywhere and thought hey, that would probably cut the trip time in half. But I checked, and you can only unlock one scooter per account (which requires a credit card, which of course my tween does not have), and actually when I checked the FAQs they require that all riders be 18 or older.
So, there’s another use case these things could support, but don’t.