In the era of convenience, electric scooters and skateboarders have become the norm for transportation, especially for UC Berkeley students. Almost everyone has an electric scooter or skateboard, or is thinking of getting one. As someone who prefers walking and street skateboarding though, I vowed to never buy an electric scooter / skateboard.
My morals were questioned however, until one of my most hectic summer days. Starting off with an 8:30am work shift at the visitor center, picking up the keys to my new apartment in downtown Berkeley, then moving all mine and my roommates’ stuff from three locations around Berkeley, I decided that a scooter would be a good idea to get around.
Obviously I did not hvae my own scooter, but luckily there were many rideshare scooters available in Berkeley. Rideshare electric scooters and bikes have been around for a while in major cities, but they’ve just started popping up around Berkeley. Their business model is simple. You unlock a scooter on the side of the street with an app, then ride it to your location. Most companies charge based on distance or time traveled. Some also have a day pass option: at a fixed rate, you can have multiple rides.
In this blogpost I will be reviewing LINK rideshare electric scooters, specifically their day pass.
What is LINK Scooters?
LINK is just one of the rideshare scooters that are in Berkeley. The only other company (so far) with rideshare scooters and bikes is Veyo. I choose to use LINK scooters because I already used LINK scooters one when I went to Seattle.
Using LINK Scooters is simple. After downloading the Superpedestrian app, all you need to do is scan the barcode on a scooter to unlock it. On your first ride there is a speed limit (8 mph) for safety. The speed limit after the first ride is 15 mph. To unlock a scooter, there is a $1 fee and 0.39 cents per minute cost afterwards. To finish your ride, you just park your scooter, end the ride on your phone, then take a parking photo.
What is the Day Pass?
The LINK day pass offers users a maximum of 6 30 minute rides for 24 hours at a fixed rate of $14.32 (including tax). If your ride exceeds 30 minutes, then you will be charged the regular amount (0.39 cents a minute) for that extra time. The day pass ends when you have completed all 6 rides.
Is the Day Pass a good deal?
Yes! If you rode 30 minutes for all 6 rides, the regular cost would be $76.2(6 * (1 + 30 * 0.39)) = $76.2). You would save $61.88 (76.2 – 14.32 = 61.88) by using the day pass.
To breakeven on the day pass you only need 6 3.6 minute rides.
14.32 = 6 * (1 + x * 0.39) -> x = 3.5 minutes
What’s it like actually riding the scooter?
Riding the scooter was super smooth and safe. Even when going down the steep Berkeley hills, the scooter still went at a relatively steady rate. While going up the hills, the scooter still went at a decently fast rate (although slower than usual).
There are zones where you cannot ride and/or park your scooter. Those zones are visible on the app and if you enter one, your scooter will beep and slow down to the point where the acceleration will not work.
Was the day pass a good deal for me?
Yes! The day pass was a great deal for me. I used up all 6 trips and my total of all my rides was $36.03.
Do I recommend the day pass?
Yes! The day pass is esepcially useful if you’re running around town. I love the convenience of not having to carry your scooter around and just using it when you need it. The scooter also got me to my location at a fraction of the time it would take me to walk.
There were many LINK scooters around Berkeley, especially in Southside. It was easy to find a scooter that I needed and not too many people use rideshare scooters (yet) so I was able to get any scooter that I wanted. One con about LINK rideshare scooters is that you cannot ride the scooter anywhere on Berkeley’s campus.