This week Wheels.com introduced a dockless all electric bike throughout Westwood and Brentwood. Today, dockless scooters along with semi and fully electric bikes crowd Westside sidewalks to offer a solution to short commutes. Many students and urban millennials are abandoning their cars for these alternative transportation devices. A one or two mile commute from campus, transit or home can now be accomplished with these omnipresent devices. One can pay $6 dollars for an Uber or Lift to travel one or two miles or $1.50 for a scooter or bike. These scooters and bikes are hassle free and cost less than parking in many cases. Those properties within two miles of a subway or light rail, campus, major office center, entertainment districts or desirable amenities–will take on greater value. The City planned for bike racks, but now we may need scooter parking.
Planners have for decades promoted bikes as an alternative to driving and as a way to close the gap on short commutes–especially that last mile or two from a subway or light rail. Tech companies have now closed the gap beyond the planners’ dreams. We shall now see how enduring and what impact these devices have on the urban scene. We must now deal with the task of making these alternatives safe and convenient. Remember that in the early days of the automobile–many thought cars unsafe and very upsetting to the horses.