It’s been eight years since Uber’s historic beta launch in San Francisco, and, despite a deluge of complaints levied by traditional transportation competitors, governments, and customers, the Uber model – and ridesharing at large – has become ubiquitous. Ease of use, convenience, and accountability have lead to the birth of a worldwide driving force that can be described as no less than legion. Employment opportunities created by Uber and its ilk have birthed a modernized workforce of part-to-full-time cabbies who, in 2019, need not even own a car to participate as a service provider in the new rideshare economy.
Six years after its North American debut, a former Uber executive decided to apply the tenets of his company’s model to a century-old mode of transportation that has waxed and waned in popularity for a period longer than that of the automobile. And so, Bird, took center stage. While the company largely avoided garnering the ire of classic transportation businesses – a perennial thorn in Uber’s paw – it did, however, face quick, pronounced, and continued admonishment from urban pedestrians and local governments. Whereas cities had been equipped with a means for car parking since the time New York townhouse garages were meant for horse and buggy, there had never existed any infrastructure for the practical storage of the single-person scooter.
Fast forward to 2019, and satellite images of Venice, California depict alley upon alley of seemingly post-apocalyptic scooter devastation. Maimed, stripped, wheel-less Frankensteinian Birds, Limes, Razors, and two wheeled Uber siblings decorate the Southern Californian city’s streets with a cyber-punk inflected form of techno litter. But, despite the new global impediment to taking your child out for a ride in her stroller, the rideshare-scooter craze comes with a thick silver lining.
Bird’s reintroduction of the scooter has lead millions of people to reconsider it as a practical means of transportation. Its use and manufacture exponentially better for the environment than that of a car, the scooter is the salient mode of travel for the carbon conscious denizen of 21st century Earth. And when the positive environmental effects of electric scooter riding are decoupled from the negative, urban-clutter inducing effects of the rideshare model, you’re left with something sustainable, beautifying, and suited for long-term use. Enter Unagi.
While a lack of street clutter might be better for a city as a whole, however, it may not deter the more self-interested consumer from the rideshare model. To that end, we at Unagi present 5 additional ways owning an electric scooter beats out using rideshare scooters.
1. Never Look for a Scooter Again
Yes, as stated above, there are certain sections of specific cities, like Venice Beach, that are riddled with scooters. However, in large cities like Los Angeles, rideshare scooters tend to wind up clustered around highly trafficked, commercial neighborhoods. This distribution makes it difficult for those who live in residential neighborhoods to find a ride to work or to enjoy downtime with friends. In this common circumstance, owning an electric scooter saves the time and headache otherwise accompanied with tracking down a Bird. Unagi’s lithe frame and one-click folding mechanism make it a noninvasive, minimalist addition to even small apartments. In addition, Unagi’s lightweight body makes carrying it out your door a breeze. Grab an Unagi, and never hunt for another scooter again.
2. Save Money
One of the most widely touted features of the rideshare scooter economy is its inherent cost-saving nature. When you ride a scooter, you don’t have to pay for gas. It’s simple. Take it one step further, and, if you abandon cars altogether, you avoid the high monthly costs that accompany automobile use – insurance, lease payments, gas, maintenance – and the costs priced into cab fare. Unagi takes this aspect of rideshare scooters and one-ups it. At a price to own as low as $25/month, a ridershare customer’s daily Bird expense can equal an entire month of riding Unagi. Grab an Unagi, and watch your pockets grow.
3. Take It Anywhere
Much to the consternation of rideshare scooter users worldwide, many services restrict the areas in which their scooters can be started up, ridden, and dropped off. This often means needing to pick up a fifty-pound scooter and haul it until it’s within a safe-zone before a customer can actually begin his or her ride. Similarly, if a scooter is ridden into a prohibited area, it will slow to a crawl before completely deactivating. Finally, rideshare customers constantly complain about GPS errors prohibiting their ending their rides in what would otherwise be approved drop-off points. Owning an Unagi comes with no such drama. Start your scooter wherever you’d like; start it in your own home if you feel the inclination. Ride your scooter wherever the law allows. Fold your scooter, and bring it with you wherever your day may find you. We made a scooter to solve headaches, not to create additional ones.
4. Avoid Germs
A friendly word to rideshare customers: you don’t know where that scooter’s been. But, judging by the locations they end up (often in alleyways and dumpsters), you can make an educated guess. Furthermore, you don’t know who’s touched that scooter. Avoid coming into unnecessary contact with germs, viruses, and any number of contact-borne illnesses that might coat the well-used rideshare scooter. Buy an Unagi, keep clean, stay healthy.
5. Look Good
Ok, not to hype ourselves up too much, but we do believe that we’ve made the best looking scooter on the planet. We’re lighter, more agile, and more aerodynamic than just about anything you’ll find on the market. From the craftsmanship evident in our magnesium alloy handlebar, to the simplicity of our single-click folding mechanism, to the minimalism of our custom tires, attention to detail rings throughout the entirety of our electric scooter. Throw in our array of sharp colors - Cosmic Blue, Gotham, Sea Salt, and Matte Black – and it’s a tall order to compete with us on aesthetics. Ride Unagi, stay fresh.