Old 01-29-19, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
The overall idea of using alternative sources for transportation is sound but in this case it would appear the companies are ignoring reality and pinning ongoing success on fuzzy strategies.

You can't ignore the fact that left unattended, people will vandalize scooters.
You can't pin recovery and recharging hopes on teenagers using third party power supplies.
You can't lay out more to run an idea than it generates in income.

Widespread dockless scooters may seem cool but it sounds like society and the infrastructure isn't ready for them. Perhaps smaller, targeted locales with docks so the user needs to be accountable for return (or get billed on the CC) and where they can be recharged using the parent companies power would be a more sustainable and responsible business model. It would also reduce recovery fees (as the scooters are docked).
This is so similar to the article I read about why Apple can't make products outside of China. The article described a single person making tiny specialized screws because the cost of the screws didn't warrant multiple workers in Texas, whereas in China there would be a whole team of people working on the screws. Basically that means that Apple has to make products in China and ship them across the ocean, i.e. because local people aren't willing to do the kind of work needed at the cost/wages that workers in China will. Maybe because they don't LCF and so they have to pay for cars and driving.

What seems to be clear is that ubiquitous driving generates a certain level of GDP that requires everyone to drive. So unless a class of LCF people can emerge that are willing to work for less, things like dockless share scooters/bikes are going to be too expensive to be a viable business model.

The other option is for people to pay enough for the dockless share scooters/bikes to generate a lucrative business at automotive-economy levels, but then of course people are going to be under pressure to do as much business as in a full-blown automotive economy, which will probably mean they have to travel as much and as far as those who drive do.

Then, if the dockless share companies fail, it's just proof that the overall automotive economy has become a barrier to affordable transportation choice, which we've sort of known all along anyway, except those of us who are living in the dream reality that it's just as easy to LCF as it is to get around by driving.
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