If you’ve ever been outside in New York City you’ve probably seen someone zipping around on an electric scooter. Perhaps you ride one yourself. What you may not know, is it’s technically illegal. In fact, riding one of these bad boys in the state of New York could earn you a $500 citation.
You might be asking yourself, why is a scooter company telling me that riding one is illegal and has expensive consequences? Because the unofficial stance is that it's fine. Like, really. The police are okay with them and we proved it with a little experiment. See for yourself in the video below.
So what's the deal? Riders agree it's a great way to get around the city. The city’s bike lane infrastructure is relatively robust, while the subway system is not (and it’s only gotten worse). Not to mention our little car congestion problem. So seriously, why is an affordable, environmentally friendly, more convenient form of transit, still technically illegal?
Members of state and local governments are asking the same question. Right now there’s a bill being debated that’d allow local municipalities to set their own rules. If it passes, local officials will likely launch pilot programs with companies like Bird and Lime. Unfortunately, that takes time, so it could be a while.
In the meantime, there are still ways to ride. Levy Electric sells a direct-to-consumer model for only $499. It’s really good too. Just sayin.