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If you live in an urban area you are familiar with the scourge of electric scooters: Birds, Limes, and Spins strewn across sidewalks, the product of tech giants not content to just litter our digital spaces but to junk our physical homes too.
Plus, the mostly dude ridership whips around through streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes, often without regard for anyone else, and endangering people in the name of getting somewhere three-to-five minutes faster.
Every once in a while a Bird scooter feels like the greatest invention in the world.— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) June 18, 2019
“Every once in a while,” Yang wrote on Tuesday, “a Bird scooter feels like the greatest invention in the world.”
Twitter user Andrew Unger replied, saying that he’d “seen a guy ram into a family of three and two other riders drop their phones in the middle of the street” in the past few weeks.
They suck ass actually. In the last few weeks alone I've seen a guy ram into a family of three and two other riders drop their phones in the middle of the street. One guy nearly wiped out riding full speed towards the PATH station, which in itself is a nice metaphor https://t.co/93pPGqwJUe— Andy (@AndrewUnger) June 19, 2019
The scooters have some novelty, for sure, but what they really are is another way in which tech giants—most of the scooter companies are owned by Uber, Lyft, Segway, and the like—offload infrastructure costs, like parking, paths, electricity, and charging, to the government and the public under the guise of providing a utility and service.
They also exploit the slow pace of bureaucracy in most American cities, flooding markets while questions of legality and regulations remain in limbo until they are too big to attempt to legislate away, even if they are causing more harm than good.
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David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]