Scoot Your Way

Posted on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019

It seems that electronic scooters have taken over any major city across the U.S. I first spotted them in Austin during a weekend trip from College Station. I went home for winter break in 2018 to Dallas and noticed them everywhere. I’ve seen them in Salt Lake City, Memphis, Nashville, and now I see them at any corner in the D.C. area.

There are so many pros and cons to using electric scooters and these items should be considered by anyone wanting to ride one. I will start off with the cons first:
  • They are LITERALLY everywhere. Often, you see many knocked over or accidentally ran into. If you see a scooter in the way or knocked down take the time to be a great Samaritan and move it to a better location.
  • If you do not pay attention to the time, your riding fee can be expensive. I have spent over $20 on one ride.
  • There seems to be a lot of “out of service” scooters. Sometimes I find myself needing to be somewhere quickly and a scooter of the app I have is nearby. I would then scan the QR Code but find myself stuck when the scooter is unavailable for use.
  • The amount of times a scooter has almost hit someone from what I’ve seen has been a considerable amount. Granted, I must accept the fact I have almost hit several pedestrians with my vehicle too. Clearly, there are some safety factors to consider.
But there are also many pros too:
  • They are electric scooters which means that they do not emit greenhouse gases into the air. Electric scooters contribute less to the climate problem than regular cars do.
  • Since they are literally everywhere, it is very convenient to find a scooter nearby. All you need is your cellphone and to have downloaded the app.
  • Being an intern in D.C. means you must wear business clothes. It is HOT in DC. Its day to day weather is comparable to Texas (high temperatures with high humidity). Imagine how nice it is to scoot your way around town in business professional clothing instead of walking.
  • All of D.C.’s main attractions are within a few miles of each other. Scooters provide a fun way to commute from one location to the next without ubering or waiting for public transportation.
Overall, you get to decide if you will partake in the electric scooter experience. There are a lot of pros and cons to consider. If you do decide to ride an electric scooter, have patience and ride slow when pedestrians are nearby. Additionally, if you get to a crowded area, it is better to step off your scooter and walk your scooter until you get a reasonable amount of distance between yourself and pedestrians to board it again.

Regardless of what you choose, D.C. has many things to offer and there are plenty of opportunities to explore them. Make sure to visit the many free museums and exhibits like the Botanic Gardens or the Smithsonian Museums. You can also go kayaking on the river too! I would recommend being outside as much as possible and try not to sleep in too late on your weekends or else you could miss an incredible opportunity.

Lucero Marquez
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Water
Washington, D.C. | summer 2019