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Is this the next Uber…or just a menace to society?

Getting around in the big city is much more convenient nowadays then it was just a few years ago. You’ll never get lost searching for the town’s newest hot spot with navigational tools like Google Maps to help. (PssT! Tap or click here to learn 12 Google Maps tricks you’ll use time and time again.)

Easily pinpointing where you’re headed isn’t the only modern convenience either. Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft have also changed the travel game. No more waiting for over-priced taxis that take forever to pick you up. Now, you simply order a ride from an app on your gadget and your diver will be there in minutes to give you a reasonably-priced ride.

The ride-share vehicle model is so successful, it’s also being implemented with bicycles in highly-populated cities. Just find a bike-share location, scan a bar code with the app and you’re hitting the trails in no time. Now, certain cities are being overrun with a new type of ride-share. You won’t believe the nuisance it’s causing the locals.

New ride-share is driving people crazy

The nuisance we’re talking about has to do with electric scooters. Start-up companies have recently put together a ride-share option in select cities across the country with e-scooters.

Like bike-shares, e-scooters can be rented for a very low price by scanning a bar code on a downloaded app. A company called Bird started this trend by placing these scooters all over the city of Santa Monica, CA not long ago.

Now, e-scooter ride-shares are popping up all over the U.S. But residents living in those cities are not happy about it.

That’s because these scooters don’t have designated docking stations. It’s become a huge problem. Users are just leaving the scooters lying on the ground, wherever they happen to finish riding.

Image: Example of piled-up ride-share scooters. (Source: Twitter)

These piled up scooters are not only an eye-sore but also dangerous. If they’re left in the path of pedestrians they could cause people to trip and fall, bikers to crash and who knows what else.

Santa Monica residents spoke up at a public meeting last month. They described the situation as being chaotic, saying some teens are riding scooters two at a time and crashing into pedestrians.

It can also be dangerous to the scooter rider. Most ride-share users are not wearing helmets or other safety gear, which could leave them hurt if they crash. California law mandates that helmets are worn when riding scooters but residents claim users are not obeying.

This problem isn’t likely to get better anytime soon. Why not, you ask? The reason they’ll be sticking around is the fact that they’re huge money-makers. Bird was founded only a year ago but has already raised over $400 million. It’s said to be seeking valuations of nearly $2 billion.

Other companies that have started scooter ride-shares include Spin in San Francisco, and Lime in Los Angeles.

Venture capitalists are throwing money at these start-up companies across the U.S. in hopes of cashing in on the next Uber type success. In fact, Lime just announced it has received $335 million in funding from a group of investors that includes Uber.

Wise investors are always looking for the next big thing. It’s something we all should be doing.

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