Transportationalternatives to the L train when the subway line is suspended for renovation in 2019 are getting sexy.
As city agencies scramble to come up with alternatives for the250,000 people riding the L train through Manhattan and Brooklyn every day, the think tank at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Managementput out“A Scooter Share Primer”on Tuesday. It imagines a New Yorkwith open access to mopeds, a New York a little more like Paris.
The primer follows up on the center's bid for creative solutions made in their “L Train Closure and Mitigation” reportpublished in August.
Among the 10 scooter-share companies in the micro-study is Scoot, the world’s first scooter-share program, which has 600 electric mopeds roaming San Francisco. Like a hybrid between CitiBike and Car2Go, riders can use an app to locate a scooter nearby, and then either bring it to a charging station or park it wherever they need to when they’re done.
Moped sharing in New York City could really be a thing, Scoot CEO Michael Keating told Metro.
“We think it would be great in New York because it’s a multimodal city,” he explained, and added that New York's terrain and New Yorkers themselves are amenable to novel transportation options.
The San Francisco business model is cheap —with a 30-minute ride that costs only $3 and each additional minute only 10 cents. Scoot is the only scooter-share operating in the U.S.
The scooters are also environmentally healthy because they run on a rechargeable battery.
“It’s the most energy efficient motor vehicle in the world. The more electric scooters and vehicles, the cleaner the air, the safer and quieter the streets,” Keating said.
Sarah Kaufman, assistant director for at the NYU Rudin Center who helped assemble the scooter primer said that she believes New York lawmakers would be accepting of a scooter-share concept.
“I think there could be some real appeal here, especially with the shutdown of the L train,” she told Metro. “It would limit the amount of car congestion and pollution that would be added to the city because of commuters taking car service and private cars.”
Not everyone is thrilled by the prospect of scooters in the city.
“Fanciful solutions are a distraction from the actual problem. I mean why not kayaks? Why not hot air balloons?” Hayley Richardson at the TransitCenter for transportation solutions said.
“We have the ability to bolster actual transit, and push for things like more room for bike and bus only lanes. We are really trying to steer the solution towards viable and sustainable solutions,” she said.