It’s been a long time (again) since the last grumpy moment, it’s not that I haven’t been grumpy, but I guess I’ve been too grumpy to write.
Now I’m not sure about this one, and initially it was gonna be a Facebook post with one of those… Content – discuss… posts, but it seems a bit grumpy so I write here, and move to FB.
So this year, Oslo has been OVER-RUN by electric scooters. Not the kind that people have paid for themselves you understand, that are the toys of the privileged rich schoolboy/girl as grown-ups, if you wanna spend your money on an expensive kids toy that’s fine, a hoverboard or a one wheel, or a classy-walk or the original, a segweg. 35 years ago you guys would have bought a Sinclair C5.
NO… In Oslo there are literally thousands of app driven electric scooters laying around in the street for anyone to just take and ride. “What?” I hear you cry, “That’s brilliant!”.
So how does it work?
First you download the app (currently there are 3 different companies doing it) so you might need 3 apps. You look on your app for the nearest scooter, shown on a map, along with information about how much battery there is left on each unit, so you can head for the nearest with highest charge. You then scan a barcode on the scooter and you are off!!! I must say seeing hundreds of people zooming about in the streets seems pretty futuristic, and i do think that’s pretty cool, so why am I grumpy then? Arrrghhh…. it’s a dilemma, cos they are cool, but I have so many misgivings about them, that I present them now in a Grump List.
They are not as environmentally friendly, as they seem.
There’s no doubt that they look green, all these folk shooting around on electrical energy instead of petrol, but what charges them?
And how is that electricity generated?
Power stations (admittedly pretty green here in Norway, chinese owned waterfalls etc), but what dirty transportation are they replacing?
No… I don’t think people use cars around the city center in Oslo anymore, unless they NEED to pick something up, collect someone or are disabled. Oslo parking, now with the green party in charge of Oslo city council, has become basically either very expensive or impossible. No… they are replacing, either walking… or busses.
So any exercise that people were getting walking FROM their bus to their places of work or places of intended purchases is now gone in favour of whizzing there quicker. And busses (which were already environmentally friendly, being powered by Biodiesel, basically recycled Oslo folks poo) are losing revenue, to private entrepreneurs rather than the council, who might pump the money raised back into the city.
They are a mess when battery is out of charge… who´s job is that?
At the end of the day, especially weekends, there are literally piles of dead scooters all over the place, waiting for someone to throw them in a van and take them off to be charged someplace. Now I have a bit of problem with this too. OOh the mess? um…not so much… more that I have seen these people collecting them, and taking them to charge, its night work, happening after midnight, presumably also following the GPS signals they emit to find where folk have left them (rivers perhaps?). It’s obviously low paid , crap work, (Black work, as is slightly racisistly called here, meaning, “cash in hand”, no tax, no questions asked) while the investors are snuggly lying in bed watching their bank balances increase.
OK I don’t want to go all HMS on you (HSE to you english people). but correct me if I’m wrong, in the old days didn’t we need to to get at least a provisional license to drive a moped? Well there’s no need with these and any kid who can download the app can drive them (site says 17+ but I’ve seen 10 yr olds zooming on the streets at 20kmph). They are seriously fast, and although I have no figures Im gonna bet, there are a few accidents on Friday nights coming back from bars
They aint cheap.
It costs 10kr to scan initially and then 1-2 kroner per minute, so a 20 minute journey will cost you 35-45 kr.