New scooter sharing startup starts rolling in DC
Sanjay Dastoor, the former CEO of electric skateboard manufacturer Boosted Boards, is branching out into two-wheeled modes of urban transport. He has today launched Skip, a new scooter sharing service kicking off in Washington DC.
Dastoor points to his track record of not just developing popular electric skateboards, but working with authorities to gain the necessary permits before putting them on the streets, as a reason why Skip will succeed where others have not. At least not yet.
Dockless scooter sharing services have sprung up all over the west coast of the US recently. By their nature, dockless scooters can be left anywhere a user desires, with locals complaining of cluttered sidewalks and the San Francisco City Attorney's Office issuing a cease and desist letter to three companies for "unlawful operation" in the city.
Skip's scooters will also be dockless, powering around the city at up to 18 mph (29 km/h) on a 36 V, 350 W hub motor, with each charge of the battery good for a 30-mile range (48 km). They are fitted with dual suspension and LED headlights, taillights and brake lights for safety.
Users can hop onboard by first downloading the Skip app. Then once they locate a Skip scooter on the street, they scan a QR code on its handlebars and the system starts logging their route and charging them accordingly (there's no word yet on the exact costs).
Skip does seem to be taking a proactive approach to avoiding a big ol' scooter scrapyard on the streets. The company website advertises for positions as a Street Team Charger, which involves collecting Skip scooters from the street, taking them home, charging them overnight and then dropping them off at designated locations in the morning.
Those roles are available in Washington DC where Skip launched today, as well as in San Francisco where it plans to launch soon. Time will tell if its more measured approach to rolling out a scooter sharing service has it fare better than its competitors.