Shared electric scooters surge, overtaking docked bikes

Electric scooters have overtaken station-based bicycles as the most popular form of shared transportation outside transit and cars.

Riders took 38.5 million trips on shared electric scooters in 2018. That eclipsed the 36.5 million trips riders took on shared, docked bicycles, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Scooter companies are facing challenges from every direction including vandalism, theft, rider injuries, intense competition and aggressive regulations in cities across the U.S.

Yet the scooter industry persists, and venture capitalists, ride-hailing companies and traditional auto manufacturers continue to pour millions into the fledgling companies.

Companies are jockeying for strategic position in the so-called micromobility revolution, where consumers are embracing ride-hailing services, scooters, bikes and shared cars that can be hailed and paid for by smartphones.

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