Environment Transportation Best Scooter Sharing Companies Save energy with this ride By Kiah Treece Kiah Treece University of Toledo College of Law University of Florida University of Miami Kia Treece is a writer, scientist, and sustainability coach specializing in environmental policy, off-grid living, zero waste, and vegan lifestyle. She holds a J.D. with a certificate in Environmental Law from the University of Toledo. Learn about our editorial process Published January 20, 2021 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Transportation Public Transportation Active Automotive Aviation Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. martin-dm / Getty Images Transportation is said to account for just over 28% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. That said, it’s not always feasible to commute by foot or take public transportation—even in a big city. Scooter sharing companies present an alternative option by providing zero-emission, electric scooters that can be rented conveniently and at a low cost. To help you choose the right scooter sharing option in your area and for your needs, we compared 10 options and narrowed down the best ones. Here's our round-up of the best scooter sharing companies. Our Top Picks Best Overall: Lime Best for Discounts: Spin Best Long-Term Rentals: Bird Best for Flexible Transportation: Lyft Best Equipment Options: Veo Best Overall: Lime Lime Learn More Why We Chose It: With locations in over 50 cities and a user-friendly mobile app, Lime is our overall best pick because of its accessibility and positive user reviews. What We Like - Scooters can travel over 20 miles on a single charge - Group Ride feature lets one user unlock multiple scooters for a group - Offers discounts to riders who need financial assistance What We Don't Like - Scooters may provide a less smooth ride than other options on our list Lime is an electric scooter and bike sharing company available in cities across more than 26 states in the United States, and the platform is generally well-reviewed. In addition to being available through the Lime mobile platform, Lime electric scooters can be reserved through the Uber app. And, while some users report that the scooters are less comfortable than other brands, they can go more than 20 miles on a single charge. Lime’s user-friendly mobile app lets you see how charged a scooter’s battery is before selecting it, and you’ll always get to see the price before you ride. Generally, though, Lime costs about $1 to start a ride plus a per-minute fee that varies by location. As of January 2021, scooters cost roughly $0.32 per minute in Washington, D.C., about $0.38 per minute in Nashville, and around $0.39 in Los Angeles—regardless of whether the scooter is in motion or standing still. Finally, Lime is not only dedicated to making mobility more affordable and better for the environment: The company also hires locally and works with organizations to help communities thrive. Additionally, its Lime Access program provides a discount of approximately 70% or more on e-scooters and electric-assist bikes for riders who demonstrate participation in an eligible public benefits program. Best for Discounts: Spin Spin Learn More Why We Chose It: Spin earned a spot on our list because the company offers a safety promo code, helmet discount, and Spin Access—a program aimed at increasing the accessibility of more affordable, sustainable transportation. What We Like - Prices are comparable with those of other top scooter sharing companies - Users in San Francisco are eligible to receive a free helmet - Available in more than 48 cities across the U.S. What We Don’t Like - Does not enable users to unlock multiple scooters for a group ride Founded in 2016 and currently owned by Ford, Spin provides riders access to high-quality scooters with a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour and a battery range of 40 miles. Users must start with a minimum $10 balance on their account; it then costs roughly $1 to unlock the scooter plus around $0.15 to $0.39 per minute during its use, depending on your location. While Spin’s pricing is comparable to other companies we reviewed, it ranks highly because of Spin Access, a program that provides discounted fares to qualifying users. The program also increases access to scooter sharing services for people without smartphones, mobile location services, or credit cards. Users can get a promo code if they score 100% on its online safety quiz. Plus, discounts are also available for Overade foldable helmets, making it even easier—and more affordable—to stay safe on a Spin scooter. Even with all these community-oriented benefits, we love Spin for Treehugger readers because of the company’s goal of becoming carbon negative by 2025. This involves transitioning to 100% renewable energy for recharging power, achieving 100% landfill diversion, and increasing scooter lifecycles to at least 24 months, among other initiatives. Best Long-Term Rentals: Bird Bird Learn More Why We Chose It: Bird is our top choice for riders who prefer to always have a charged scooter on hand because they offer monthly scooter rentals in certain markets. What We Like - Riders can reserve scooters up to 30 minutes in advance - Fleet includes upgraded scooter model and e-bikes - Available in 54 cities across the U.S. What We Don’t Like - Users have to add money to their account to view pricing and scooter availability Available in 54 U.S. cities and 38 universities across the United States, Bird launched the first shared electric scooters back in 2017 in an effort to increase the accessibility and sustainability of urban transport. In addition to having nationwide coverage and upgraded scooter equipment, Bird is a standout option because it offers monthly rental options not available elsewhere. Long term rentals are only available in Miami, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and some college campuses, but Bird delivers and picks up the scooter and users can take unlimited rides over the course of the month. Like other scooter sharing services, pricing is on a per minute basis. That said, users have to add at least $5 to their account to start searching for a ride and view city-specific pricing. Once you set up an account and add money to your account, you can use the map to find the closest Bird and reserve it up to 30 minutes in advance. Bird has updated its scooters to keep up with the competitive landscape of scooter rentals, including upgraded identity verification software to prevent underage driving. Its fleet contains Bird One and Bird Two models as well as the Bird Cruiser, an electric-assist bicycle that can transport up to two people. Bird Two has self-reporting damage sensors so users are less likely to get a malfunctioning scooter, self-sealing tires, and a battery with over 50% more capacity than the Bird One. Best for Flexible Transportation: Lyft Lyft Learn More Why We Chose It: As a ride, bike, and scooter sharing company, Lyft offers a number of transportation options from the same app—making it the best choice for riders who want flexible transportation options. What We Like - Works through the Lyft app - Riders report that the scooter equipment is high-quality - Mobile app is well-reviewed What We Don’t Like - More limited geographic coverage than dedicated scooter sharing companies Offering everything from food delivery and ridesharing to scooter and bicycle sharing, Lyft gives users the ability to choose from the most convenient transportation option. As of January 2021, scooter sharing is currently available in Minneapolis, Denver, San Diego, Miami, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Washington, DC, as well as at the University of California Los Angeles. You can access scooters from the same mobile app and account that you use for Lyft’s rideshare services. Like most other companies, Lyft scooters travel up to 15 miles per hour and have a range of between roughly 10 and 20 miles on a battery charge. Pricing is also comparable, with around a $1 fee for unlocking a scooter and roughly a $0.15 to $0.29 per minute fee thereafter. Lyft also features the Lyft Community Pass—the company’s answer to providing affordable transportation to those who need additional financial assistance. Best Equipment Options: Veo Veo Learn More Why We Chose It: Veo offers the best equipment options of scooter sharing companies because of its range of fully electric traditional scooters, seated scooters, e-bikes, and pedal bikes. What We Like - Sleek, high-quality standup and seated scooters - Scooters have a range of 31 miles with a full battery - App has positive reviews What We Don’t Like - Limited geographic availability Veo is an electric scooter and bicycle sharing company available in more than 18 cities and university campuses across 14 states, with more cities and state locations coming soon. Although Veo’s geographic availability is more limited than some other options, the platform made our list because of its wide selection of electric scooters and the ability to buy equipment online. Available scooters include the Astro—featuring large, airless tires, a wide deck, and front and rear suspension—and a seated option, the Cosmo. Veo users can also choose from the company’s Halo e-bike with electric-assist pedals, and the Halo pedal bike. Beyond the scooter sharing option, which can be accessed through Veo’s well-reviewed mobile app, users can buy an Astro.go scooter for about $650 through the Veo Flex program. Bottom Line If you’re trying to cut down on your driving but don’t want to walk all the way across town, scooter sharing companies offer a low-cost and flexible alternative to public transportation. Simply download the app for your preferred provider, and then locate scooters in your vicinity. Lime, our overall best scooter sharing company, services more than 50 cities across the United States and offers competitive pricing. What’s more, Lime’s app is easy to use and makes it easy to find a fully charged scooter (or bike) nearby. What Are Scooter Sharing Companies? Scooter sharing companies, like rideshare or bike share companies, are designed to provide a flexible, low-cost, and sustainable transportation alternative in urban markets. Scooters are located across each city—sometimes at designated charging stations—and users can locate and reserve them using an app. How Much Do Scooter Sharing Companies Cost? Scooter sharing costs depend on the provider and location. Generally speaking, however, scooter sharing companies charge about $1 to start a ride and then between about $0.15 and $0.40 per minute during use. Some companies require riders to add money to their accounts before reserving a scooter, while others charge user credit cards directly. Where Are Scooter Sharing Companies Available? The geographic availability of scooter sharing companies varies by platform, but they are typically limited to universities and cities with a large urban population. And, while larger companies like Bird are available across the United States, others have more limited regional coverage. That said, geographic availability is expanding, and several scooter sharing companies let people petition to have services extended to their city or campus. How We Chose the Best Scooter Sharing Companies To select the best scooter sharing companies, we compared 10 providers based on features like geographic availability, scooter quality, and cost per minute (where possible). We also read customer reviews and downloaded mobile apps to evaluate the customer experience offered by each company. In addition to considering factors like geographic availability and price, we also researched things that make the best scooter sharing companies shine—like high-quality equipment, an easy-to-use mobile app, and positive customer reviews. View Article Sources EPA. "Carbon Pollution from Transportation."