This is the law in New York State:
New York City law only intensifies the stupidity.
What does the City Council know about real life in this city? Nothing! They don’t even use the mass transit most New Yorkers must endure:
They use taxis and Uber to get around. They’re a bunch of out-of-touch meddlers who only keep raising the cigarette tax so more New Yorkers can potentially be killed by police. They’re just about good for nothing.
While the City Council ignores the reality of everyday life, aware people aren’t.
If on September 10, 2001, someone had shouted to the world that two planes would crash into the World Trade Center, that person would have been laughed at.
Who is laughing about this today?
So it’s not a matter of whether or not it can happen. It’s just a matter of when.
I’m not going to list the possibilities here because I don’t want to give anyone any ideas of what to do or where to do it. It’s sufficient to say that one or more attacks on the NYC subway system would quickly alter the daily commutes of many. If that “many” is a significant proportion, the city is screwed.
Because there aren’t enough buses, taxis, or even Uber-like services to handle that kind of capacity. Nor are there any longer enough roads for that — especially with all the streets that have been stupidly turned into pedestrian plazas.
And bikes? Forget it! What about those who can’t pedal for miles? And where the hell are all of those bikes going to be parked? Bike theft is an ongoing and thriving occupation in NYC.
But what about eBikes? No. See bikes in the prior paragraph, regarding parking.
The only answer is the kind of electric scooter that’s currently illegal.
If that looks like a lot of weight to carry, that’s because it can be.
It’s possible to get rolling bags.
But even more, there are scooters as light as sixteen pounds …
… and they can be dragged like that.
Such scooters can be brought into an office and parked where you work. No worries about it being outside like a bike, where it can be vandalized, stolen, or subjected to the weather.
And since they’re electric, they can be recharged at the office — and you know you do that for your cellphone today — for the commute home.
I’ve been researching these scooters for years. I have a YouTube playlist that has just a small fraction of the videos I’ve seen. And the list grows because I want a scooter for myself and the City Council can be damned.
Here are shortcuts for your own research.
Starting with the lightest kind of scooter, there is the carbon fiber model being produced in quantity by — where else? — China. The expert on this is Kurt V. He has a YouTube channel and has so far put over 600 kilometers (nearly 400 miles) on an FLJ-branded carbon fiber scooter that he bought directly from China.
But Kurt V. is located in Europe. It’s easier for Europeans to order something from China. The delivery time is shorter. And I think Chinese companies fear and respect the EU.
For us Americans, there seem to be just two real choices. One is a lightweight scooter that’s questionable and another is heavier and costlier but is quality.
The first is a carbon fiber scooter being sold by Swagtron. Although it resembles the one Kurt V. owns, it’s not identical. Chinese companies basically produce a design template that other factories can then adapt. While Kurt V.’s scooter has quality materials, other Chinese scooters that resemble it can have generic and cheaper batteries and fall-apart tires. This is the case with Swagtron’s scooter. It doesn’t have name-brand world-class LG batteries. And more than one person has reported a tire just falling apart. Here are some videos.
The Swagger and the Pro model have a distinguishing feature. The brake lever on the Swagger is red while on the Pro model it’s yellow.
For all the possible negatives about the Swagtron, it has UL certification. That’s not something that can be said about many scooters available for ordering directly from China.
The City Council be damned. There are already people in Manhattan commuting with a Swagtron. Here is just one:
The next scooter is higher quality; is sold by NYCEWheels, a NYC dealer with a great reputation; but costs more than double the Swagtron Pro and also weighs about fifty percent more. It’s produced by E-TWOW (pronounced ee-two-double-you — for electric two wheel) and is sold by that company in the U.S. as UScooter.
This is a video of the first generation model from the NYC dealer:
A second generation is now available and NYCEWheels will eventually have a video about it. Meantime, here’s a video from a foreign dealer about the new model:
While the second-gen UScooter is possibly the best one for any American to buy, three things stand in the way of me getting it:
1) The weight. My back can’t handle that. I have a carrying limit due to my back and often have a shoulder bag with me. Adding that scooter’s weight would put me down.
2) The bulk. Even if it was lighter, it seems unwieldy to carry with a strap. I’d need to bring along a wheeled bag for it. It also looks like it would be a real burden to drag around.
3) The price. I live in an area where its violent theft is an everyday possibility. (Never mind the thieving idiot would be quickly caught by police because he’d be so noticeable. Jackers can’t think five minutes into the future; they live only in Now.)
The Swagtron Swagger Pro and the second-generation UScooter are the top ones for any New Yorker to consider.
There are two others that have risen above the noise.
And out of nowhere a new scooter from the Chinese company Xiaomi has quickly taken YouTube by storm. Here’s a very informative review from TechTablets:
While this scooter can sometimes be bought for the price of a discounted Swagtron Pro — US$349 — it requires ordering from sketchy middlemen outside of the U.S.. Plus, as the video points out, battery life and range aren’t as touted and the inflatable tires can be a problem. There’s also the issue of weight and bulk. In its favor, it has an app that can be very useful.
Here’s some more about it:
There’s one company to watch and one upcoming generation of scooter to watch. The company is Miberi, in China.
It looks a lot like the scooter Kurt V. has. But unlike FLJ, the maker of that scooter, Miberi posts many videos and gets plenty of views on YouTube. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FLJ scooter is actually from Miberi. But tracing the provenance of a product from China is worse than doing genealogy.
The next-generation scooter is being tracked by Kurt V.:
In the end, it’s irrelevant whether terrorists attack the NYC subway system. The current law banning these kinds of electric scooters is just idiotic. This is 2017. The law is retrograde.
The people most likely to buy these scooters aren’t looking to do stunts or travel incautiously. Is the City Council really going to argue that some child can afford to buy that US$1,000 UScooter? Don’t be ridiculous.
The subway fare is now US$2.75 one way. Where I travel — and want to travel — I could do easily with an electric scooter. I wouldn’t have to hand money over to the MTA, which is failing the subways as it is. Also, I’d save time. I wouldn’t have to wait up to a half hour — sometimes more — for a bus or subway, either of which could be packed with people.
And I would see more. I’d be at ground-level and could stop at will to see things, to buy something, to eat, to take a picture. How much do I miss underground in the subway? Why would I want to pay US$2.75 over and over again for a bus because I want to stop in a few places before my final destination? And how many times must I be frustrated by a late bus and wind up walking anyway? Why should I have to be forced into a bad mood like that? Why should anybody?
Someday — and it can’t happen soon enough — this tweet will look even more stupid in the future than it does today:
The city wound up losing the war against regular bicycles. Here is the key sentence from that article:
New Yorkers were way ahead of the press and the politicians.
And it is so again.
Electric scooters must be legitimized. The current law must be modified to allow them.
And yes, I’m being spiteful here. Another “illegal ride” video, to rub it in their faces:
Google+ S3 Carbon Scooter
E-TWOW ELECTRIC SCOOTER CARRY BAG — which can used with the UScooter and seems to roll up nicely: