The Definitive Guide to Skip Scooters
With congested city traffic and the need for a last-mile solution on the daily commute, scooter rentals are becoming more and more popular. Bird and Lime are stealing most of the scooter spotlight, but they’re not the only players in this space.
There are a handful of other competitors out there trying to get a piece of the scooter pie. And one of those competitors is Skip.
Skip is relatively small compared to other e-scooter companies like Lime and Bird, but they have a unique approach to the scooter rental industry. And because of that, they’re hoping that they can separate and differentiate themselves from the competition.
So how do you ride them? How much do they cost? Where are they available? What makes them different from Lime or Bird
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Skip scooters.
- What are Skip Scooters?
- How is Skip Different?
- How Do You Ride Skips?
- Skip Costs
- Skip Availability
- Charging Skip Scooters
- Our Take on Skip Scooters
What are Skip Scooters?
In the simplest of terms, Skip scooters are dockless electric scooters. In various cities, people can rent them through a mobile app (available on iPhone and Android devices) and drop them off anywhere when they are done. They have a 30-mile range and a top speed of 18mph, making them a fast and efficient way to get around town (and a great way to avoid city traffic).
Because they are dockless, riders can drop them off just about anywhere. Customers can then use the Skip app to locate the scooters. Everything is done through the app, including renting one and paying for a ride.
Skip was created by the founders of Boosted Boards, a company known for its high-quality electric longboards. Boosted Boards receive great reviews, so the new company is hoping that they can build upon their expertise and make Skip as much as, or more of, a success.
Skip scooters are ideal for quick rides around a city and “last mile-transportation,” for making a short daily commute, or for solving a last-mile destination issue. When your bus stop or train station is a few miles from your final destination, Skip is the perfect means of transportation for that last leg of your trip. It’s also perfect for those moments when even walking would be faster than sitting in traffic (but you don’t want to walk).
What Makes Skip Scooters Different From Competitors?
In terms of how you rent them and what they cost, Skip scooters are very similar to other competitors, such as Lime, Bird, and Spin.
But Skip is different in that their scooters are built to be stronger and more durable. They also take a more socially conscious approach.
Compared to the competitors, Skip scooters are “supposedly stronger and longer-lasting.” In addition to the sturdier approach, Skip scooters have a wider rider platform and full suspension. These improvements make for a much more stable ride for the user.
They are also equipped with headlights, tail lights, and brake lights. These features make for a safer and more pleasant riding experience.
In the past year, Bird and Lime have used what some call guerilla tactics when it comes to introducing the product to a new market. They’ve dropped off scooters in cities all across the country – and usually without city permission. Skip is being much more sensitive to this issue. They’re working hand-in-hand with city officials, so they only deploy their scooter fleet in cities where they’re allowed to operate.
This proactive approach helped Skip get approval in San Francisco, where Bird and Lime are prohibited. Working with city officials is one of the ways that Skip is trying to differentiate themselves from the competition.
They are also very proactive about pulling scooters off the streets during inclement weather. According to this news outlet in Portland, Bird and Lime let their scooters be on the streets during the rain. Skip does not.
When it comes to Bird and Lime, scooters are often dumped and dropped off all over city sidewalks. They’re often vandalized, and it’s common to see them tossed in front of stores, bars, restaurants, and offices. When they’re not in use, they tend to litter the sidewalks.
To prevent vandalism and make city streets safer, Skip recently announced their use of a unique locking system. The locking system is pretty much just a latch on the scooter. But that latch prevents it from tipping over, littering sidewalks, and creating an unsafe walkway for pedestrians. The latch also allows riders to attach the scooter to a bike rack.
How Do You Ride Skip Scooters?
Skip is working hard to maintain standards, this is part of the reason why they choose to obtain permission from cities before dropping their scooters off all around town. Their goal is to create and adhere to safety standards that make the service beneficial to riders and cities alike.
With those standards come a few rules and regulations. To start, all riders must wear a helmet. You also cannot drive your Skip scooter through city parks and you cannot ride on sidewalks. In order to keep pedestrians on sidewalks safe, you must ride your Skip scooter in a bike lane or a designated lane of traffic.
One additional regulation that is currently not in place with Bird or Lime, is that when you register to rent a Skip scooter, you’ll need to scan a valid driver’s license. Lime and Bird currently require that all riders have a valid driver’s license, but they fail to enforce this with any sort of license check.
How Much Do Skip Scooters Cost?
Skip scooters follow the same pricing structure as Bird and Lime. It costs $1 to start the scooter, and then the cost is 15 cents per every minute you ride. They’re an eco-friendly way to get around town, but they’re also quite affordable too.
For example, let’s say you need to travel four miles by scooter and plan to keep your speed at about 10 mph. At that speed, it will take you approximately 24 minutes to complete your ride. So it will cost you $.15 cents per minute ($3.60) plus the $1 rental charge for a total of $4.60. That’s less than the average cost of an UberX ride in a city jam-packed with traffic.
Where Are Skip Scooters Available?
Skip is rather new to the scooter rental game, so they aren’t located in as many cities as Bird and Lime. And, because they are trying to get city approval before entering the marketplace, they may never be as available and Lime and Bird scooters are.
They don’t just drop their scooters off in cities all around the country. They take a much slower approach, as working with city governments can take a significant amount of time.
San Francisco has gone so far as to actually ban Lime and Bird scooters from its streets. At this time, Skip is one of only two scooter rental services that are legally allowed to operate within the city limits. Bird is working hard to bring its service back to the city. But for the time being, Skip has been awarded one of only two city-approved permits for legal scooter operation.
Every location and every city has its own sets of rules, laws, and guidelines. For example, riders in Long Beach, CA must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and agree to the city’s required liability waiver. You have to comply with the Long Beach municipal code and cannot ride on sidewalks or beach bike paths at any time.
Skip riders in Portland and San Francisco must adhere to a similar set of rules. You can’t ride the scooter in city parks or on sidewalks, and you must always wear a helmet while riding. You also have to park your scooters carefully and adhere to all parking requirements.
Before you rent a Skip scooter, make sure you know and understand the laws and regulations for riding one. One of Skip’s main goals is to be compliant with city regulations and acquire permission before flooding the streets with their scooters. In order for the service to be successful, it is important that riders comply with the specific rules for their specific city.
Charging Skip Scooters
A common complaint with Bird and Lime scooters is that they’re not fully charged when a new customer wants to take one for a ride. In an attempt to better service customers, Skip has employed a series of Skip “Rangers” to solve this problem.
Skip hires Rangers to charge their scooters and make the service more convenient for more riders. Rangers are tasked with the job of picking up a scooter with a depleted battery, hauling it back to their home, and charging it overnight. Rangers get paid for their work when they return the scooter back onto the street the following morning.
Rangers get paid varying amounts of money per charge, but it’s usually around $5 to $10 per scooter. However, if the scooter is hard to locate or if the weather is bad, the prices can surge as high as $20 per scooter charge.
Charged scooters generally need to be dropped off between 4 and 7 a.m. so that they’re readily available for the morning commute. Some rangers have expressed frustration over not being able to locate a drop-off point. Others complain that there are “ghost scooters” on the map and that are difficult to find. Other rangers claim that there just aren’t that many Skip scooters available to retrieve and charge.
Check out this Skip subreddit to read more stories from Skip rangers.
The simple fact that the scooters fold makes it much easier for a Ranger to load multiple scooters into their vehicle at the end of the night. If you have a truck, an SUV, or a van, you can load in multiple scooters at once and maximize your earnings by doing several charges in one night.
If you live in Portland, Long Beach, or any of the other current Skip locations, working as a Ranger might be a viable gig for you.
To learn more about working as a Skip charger, check out the complete Ranger Agreement. Read it carefully, because there are some nitty-gritty details worth noting before you sign up to do the work of a charger.
For example, you might be charged for the “charging bricks” required to charge the scooters. You have to return the scooter to a Skip Start location within the scheduled period of time. And you will need to assume any risk associated with charging a scooter. That includes making sure you can charge it in a properly ventilated area that will reduce overheating.
Make sure you understand, consider, and agree to any and all requirements of being a Ranger before you sign up for the job.
Our Take on Skip
We are already big fans of Bird and Lime scooters. They are super fun to ride, make it easy to get around crowded cities, and provide an easy way to tackle that last leg of the commute. But they do have their downfalls. City officials don’t love them. They’re often vandalized. And sometimes they break down.
Skip is trying to improve upon the scooter game and make it a more viable means of transportation. By working in conjunction with city governments, they’re making safety a top concern. They’re also dedicated to providing more durable scooters that can ride faster and ride further. In addition, an army of Skip Rangers has been deployed to make sure that the scooters are fully charged every night.
We hope that this scooter share company can address the many issues that Bird and Lime have. We’d love to see another option available in more locations around the country. And we’d love to know that we’re going to rent a scooter that’s charged, hasn’t been vandalized, and hasn’t been left lying on its side on a random city street.
Hopefully, Skip can address these common scooter issues and seek approval from more cities and more towns. The more they expand, the better it will be for anyone looking for an affordable, eco-friendly way of getting around town.