After building a grand status of scooter-sharing startups like Bird and Lime in USA, the conveyance has taken a turn on one corner of Japan this time, i.e Urawa-misono Station in Saitama, a 50-minute underground train ride north of Tokyo.
Ten e scooters, operated through a smartphone application, will be lined up outside the ticket gate – the catchiest spot. The e-scooters are provided by Wind Mobility Japan, the local arm of Berlin-based Wind Mobility which also operates in 17 European cities. And it seems people are liking the concept, the reason why the service which rolled out on 29 March now has over 300 registered members.
Initially, Wind way finding it way too difficult to partner with railway operators. Whereas at a demonstration event last November, Saitama Railway took a liking for the scooters and supported Wind to get the service off the ground.
Meanwhile, the scooter which would propel itself forward at up to 19 kph would cost 100 yen(about $1) for unlocking and thereafter 25 yen per minute, on par with rates overseas. Because the rides on average last half an hour, the company is giving riders the options of paying by the hour or by the day.
Legality wise, the eScooters would have to follow the rules shared by 2002 notice from the National Police Agency under Japanese traffic law. The law states that the e-scooters at Urawa- misono will be treated as motorized bicycles. The notice basically states that the scooters should have license plates and side mirrors, and the riders should carry a driver’s license while riding the scooter. And most importantly, they have to be driven on the road alongside the cars.
In the end, the launch is another sure-shot sign that the future of mobility if micro and eScooters will in fact be a major name in the future’s vehicle categories list.
An estimate which is backed by McKinsey & Company who estimated that the “shared micro-mobility” which includes e-scooters, bike sharing and the likes in the U.S, Europe, and China could reach a total of $500 billion
But there is one prevalent catch in this projected mass adoption.
There is no denying that e-scooters are a controversial travel choice driven by the careless driving style and devices lying on the sidewalks have caused accidents and also angered the locals living near the area.
This is the reason, even Germany and France are imposing strict rules and regulations on electric scooters whereas some U.S cities have outright banned e-scooters or imposed moratoriums on their use. But it seems Wind’s Japanese service has so far avoided such issues so far with no accidents or complaints report, meaning, this is the least of Japan’s concerns when it comes to eScooters’ increasing adoption
If you are also planning to invest in the same business (which you should) then there is a list of top e-scooters manufactures to help you in an effective way, enlisted in the linked article. It is your turn to join the revolutionizing trend.