If there’s one story that’s really been under-covered in this crazy town, it has to be those whacky electric scooters you’ve seen zipping around downtown and environs for the last few weeks. Right? What are they? Where did they come from? Do people on the street have opinions about them? And so on.
But we’ve been chasing this detail for a while and got some info, so here you go.
Have the scooters been associated with any serious injuries or related mayhem so far? The hospitals we called said, for the most part, they haven’t seen anything major. A spokesman for Detroit Receiving Hospital’s emergency department said that facilty has logged only a handful (three in July, two in September so far), but they were the sort that would make a normal person rue the day they ever scanned that QR code — including a broken arm and an ankle injury.
“We’re still seeing more bike accidents,” he added.
Now you know.
Elsewhere, the Washington Post looked around the country and found quite a bit more, including some far more serious injuries — one guy dismounted headfirst — some of them due to mechanical failure. This part will not surprise anyone born on a day other than yesterday:
Posts on Craigslist feature dozens of ads for scooter mechanics. Though some job ads ask for previous electronic repair experience, others, like those posted by Bird, say applicants need only a vehicle and a smartphone to qualify for a position. Those who are hired are trained by watching YouTube videos, current and former company employees say.
In a statement responding to questions about its training methods, Bird said the company uses “a number of tools and mechanisms” to train its network of scooter chargers and mechanics.
A death in Dallas a few days back appears to be scooter-related, but most other details are unclear.
Let’s be careful out there.