Who would have thought that electric scooters would spark the next transportation race?

This spring, electric bikes and electric scooters started showing up on the streets of a handful of major U.S. cities in droves. They were put there by a new breed of Silicon Valley tech companies focused on creating a new "micro-mobility" service. (The term is still up for debate.)

A series of factors — the wild success of app-based ride-sharing and bike-sharing, the falling cost of batteries, and the growing popularity of electrified personal transport — made electric scooters a perfect choice. These mobility startups have spread so quickly that even Uber and Lyft are getting in on the action.

This week on The Interchange podcast, we talk with Emily Warren, the senior director of public policy at Lime. Lime is one of the leading micro-mobility companies hitting the streets. We'll speak with Emily about what this new form of mobility borrows (and hopes to avoid) from the last six years of ride-sharing.

"That first wave of on-demand transportation has now prepared the public and the market to accept a much broader variety of transportation modes. They've now opened the door for a whole bunch of additional kinds of options that are coming on the scene. Frankly, I don't think any of us expected that scooters were going to be the thing," explained Warren.

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Recommended reading/listening: 

  • Vox: Electric Scooters' Sudden Invasion of American Cities, Explained
  • Washington Post: The Electric Scooters Swarming Our City Won’t Solve Our Commuting Calamity
  • The Codcast: Uber, Lyft Expanding to Bikes, Scooters

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