Electric scooters conspicuously missing from St. George city streets

Spin e-scooters, St. George, Utah, Oct. 7, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — For the past two weeks, Spin electric scooters have been nowhere to be found on St. George city streets – not at the Dixie Center, not on the campus of Dixie State University, not anywhere.

In this March 2019 file photo, St. George Mayor Jon Pike takes the inaugural ride on an e-scooter during a launch event on the Dixie State University campus, St. George, Utah, March 7, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The answer is simple: The San Francisco-based company that provides the e-scooters pulled the current model off city streets in order to upgrade to a more robust model, but the shipment of the newer models has been delayed.

“Recently, we learned that an older model of our scooters may become susceptible to water damage over time, which could potentially impact the electronics and reduce the scooter’s lifespan,” Maria Buczkowski, Spin senior public affairs manager, told St. George News.

“As such, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to stop deploying the older-model scooters over the next few days and will accelerate our ongoing fleet renewal with our newer model.”

While company officials realize the transition will result in temporary service disruption, they said they believe this is in the best interest of riders and represents a commitment to provide safe, reliable service by retiring the old model.

“We are working to refresh our fleet in St. George as soon as possible,” Buczkowski said.

The new model of Spin e-scooters coming soon to St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Spin, St. George News

The e-scooter industry by its own admission must constantly optimize its models in order to provide a safe experience, and that starts with a sturdy vehicle that people feel comfortable riding on city streets. The scooter industry officials say the product must support travel on a variety of terrains, weather conditions and  trip lengths.

Spin recently partnered with Segway-Ninebot to upgrade the local fleet to the Shared Scooter Model Max, a better version of what was currently scooting around the city.

The upgrades include the following:

  • Larger 10-inch wheels, with tubeless tires that ensure adaptability on a variety of terrains.
  • A front drum brake and rear electronic brake.
  • 350-watt rear drive high efficiency, which makes it easier to ride up hills and propel forward.
  • Significantly extended battery life, enabling each scooter to ride for 37.5 miles before needing a charge.
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum and a strengthened mechanical structure.
  • Electrical components that ensure the e-scooters are waterproof and able to handle harsher weather conditions.

According to Spin’s website, the new model is a significant step forward toward creating a safer scooter. The goal the company said is to work with manufacturers and app-based ride-share technology to develop widespread rules for e-scooter use.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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