Why Doesn’t Portland, Maine, Have Electric Scooters to Cruise Around on?
If you've never been to a city where there's an abundance of eScooters (Lime, Bird, Tier, etc.) posted up all around the area, then you've never experienced the spontaneous fun of randomly hopping on one and taking a ride. I had never even heard of a Lime scooter until I moved out to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a couple of years back in the Summer of 2018.
Like Portland has the Cross Insurance Arena right downtown to take in live music or sports, Tulsa has the BOK Center right downtown, and that's where you'll usually find a legit cornucopia of eScooters (Lime mostly, but other brands as well) scattered all over for use. And honestly, it was a great way to either kill time before a show if you showed up early and finished a pre-show meal early, or if you were waiting for traffic to die down post-show and decided to tool around the area to pass the time.
But out there, other than for fun, eScooters are mainly used as a cheap and quick alternative of getting from Point A to Point B, if you want to either avoid sitting in traffic due to traffic light rotations, or just don't feel like bringing your actual vehicle somewhere.
Why are there no eScooters in Portland?
This all begs the question -- WHY is there zero access to eScooters in Portland? Sure, you can buy your own so there is some sort of access, but I'm more talking about walking around the Old Port, coming across one, and randomly deciding to take it for a ride.
You can blame the brick walkways creating a bumpy and possibly dangerous ride, but they have similar sidewalks by the BOK Center in Tulsa, and it wasn't dangerous at all. It just seems like it'd be a killer option to quickly get from drinks down at Gritty's or $3 Dollar Deweys to crushing your burger craving at Shay's or taco craving at Taco Escobarr, and then finally getting to whatever show or sport you're watching at the Cross Insurance Arena.
If eScooters were available in Portland, would you use them to get from Point A to Point B? Or continue to do what we've always done and just walk to your destination?