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?
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).
Skip is currently available in the following United States cities:
If you noticed that they aren’t nearly as available as competitor brands, know that there is an excellent reason for that.
Skip is most interested in making scooter rentals a permanent thing.
To that end, they are avoiding the mistakes made by Bird and Lime.
A big mistake was made when those companies launched without warning, and the resulting swarm of scooters annoyed non-riders.
The storm of complaints led to scooters being banned in major cities.
Skip wants to launch mindfully.
They work with city leaders on planning how scooters will be used in their cities, what the rules will be, and how the scooters can be a beneficial traffic solution.
Look for Skip soon in more cities.
There are currently plans to expand into Oakland and San Jose, California.
How Do Skip Scooters Work?
It all works through the Skip Scooter app, which is available in the App Store or on Google Play.
The interface is simple and easy to use.
The signup process is intuitive and straightforward.
To sign up:
Once you’ve created your account, you can use the map in the app to find a scooter near you.
To ride a Skip Scooter:
If you need a helmet, glance around the immediate area to see if you can spot a Skip Scout helper.
They might have a helmet available for you. It’s better to be prepared, so either buy a helmet or get one for free from Skip in advance of your first ride.
When you’re ready to end your ride, park the scooter away from fire hydrants, high traffic pedestrian areas, and out of the roadway.
Be sure to end your ride in the app so that you don’t pay for more minutes than you used.
Skip has a helpful video that will show you more about how to use the app and how to ride safely and responsibly.
What Makes Skip Scooters Different From Competitors?
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.
How Much Do Skip Scooters Cost?
Scooters are an exceptionally cheap way to get around.
Skip’s baseline rental fee is $1.00 and then charges you $0.15 a minute after that.
You pay through the app instantly with your stored credit card information.
The app charges you when you end your ride.
Skip promo codes help you get discounts and even free rides, so pay attention to deals that Skip is running for chances to save.
Watch for deals by following @SkipScooters on Twitter and in your email inbox.
Some promos coincide with socially conscious moments like a recent $5 credit if you tweeted your “I Voted” sticker.
Skip also offers a discounted Rider Accessibility Program for low-income riders.
Riders receive a 50% discount if they are part of a public assistance program like SNAP or a state health plan.
See the Rider Accessibility page for more information on participation requirements or to apply for a discount.
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.
The Ranger Program
To ensure that scooters are charged and available for riders, Skip hires designated people to charge the scooters overnight, known as Rangers.
This also gets the scooters off the street at night and ensures that they are parked in compliance with local rules the next morning.
Rangers are paid as independent workers that collect the scooters from around the city and bring them back to their homes to charge them before deploying them back on the street.
Skip provides power supplies that Rangers use to connect scooters to regular outlets in their homes.
The cost of electricity to power a scooter is just a few cents a night and will still leave you a huge profit per scooter.
Rangers get paid for every scooter they charge.
The average payout per scooter is usually between $5.00 and $10.00 per scooter.
Hard-to-find scooters or those requiring maintenance can earn a Ranger up to $20.00.
Of course, the more scooters you can charge, the more you make.
One genius Ranger was able to fit 18 scooters in the back of his Prius!
To learn more about being Ranger or to start the sign-up process, click Become a Ranger in the app or online.
Other Ways to Work for Skip
Becoming a Ranger isn’t the only opportunity Skip offers for those that want to get on board.
It’s a new company with plans to expand.
Right now, they’re looking for mechanics and scooter technicians.
If you live in a Skip city, you can apply.
If you’re passionate about the impact electric scooters will have on changing transportation, you might want to consider working as a Skip Scout.
Scouts are a mix of brand ambassador and product demonstrator.
Their primary purpose is to show potential riders how to ride responsibly.
Check the Skip app, the Careers section of the website, or their LinkedIn page for other opportunities that might come up so you can be a part of their mission.
Rules for Using Skip Scooters
The rules vary by city.
The reason for that is because Skip’s plans for rolling out in each city adhere to the individual city’s rules and regulations.
They work with municipalities to ensure that good relationships between scooter riders and other commuters and pedestrians develop and help the city experience better traffic flow and less pollution.
Rules in Washington D.C. are still being deliberated, but the basic Skip rules still apply: be considerate, park responsibly, and wear a helmet.
Washington D.C. will probably also require scooter riders to use a locking mechanism.
Skip is already ahead in that department with a retractable cable lock that tucks away while you’re riding.
Benefits of Skip Scooters
One of the main benefits of choosing to ride a Skip scooter is that you’re supporting a brand that is approaching this new scooter transportation culture responsibly.
So what’s in it for you?
For one, it’s a super cheap way to get around the city.
With a top speed of 18 mph, you can get around quickly.
If you went a full two miles, and you rode in the bike lane at full speed, it would take you about seven minutes to get to your destination.
So, that’s $1.00 + $0.15 X 7 for a grand total of $2.05.
That’s $6 less than a typical cab ride, and it’s better for both you and your carbon footprint.
And, you’re only paying for what you use.
On the one hand, with a Skip, you increase your daily exercise when compared to riding in a car or bus.
On the other hand, it saves you trudging step by step on foot or pedaling a bike uphill.
Skips are also quicker than cars in some cities.
You can skirt congested traffic, walk the scooter across crosswalks instead of waiting with cars at lights, and take roads you might avoid in a car.
Another benefit is that unlike the bus, monorail, or other public systems, you can take your Skip all the way to your destination.
The only thing you have to do is make sure that you park it out of the way of traffic and fire hydrants.
Skip is also a benefit to your wallet if you sign on for the Ranger or Scouts programs.
Being a Ranger is a simple way to make some extra cash.
Skip has the best scooter in the business.
Boosted Boards put a lot of thought into the design.
It has headlights, tail lights, and brake lights for one.
Additionally, the handlebars are adjustable, which makes these scooters not only the safest but the most comfortable to ride.
Skips are also larger, sturdier, and feel safer to ride than the off-the-shelf personal home use scooters used by some competitors.
Skip wanted a scooter that was explicitly made for safe, comfortable riding by multiple users over a long period alongside traditional vehicular traffic.
They wanted riders to feel like Skip scooters were meant for the road, not the sidewalk.
The result is a scooter that features a broader floorboard for greater stability and a dual suspension system for a smoother ride.
They are not a toy – they are a legit motorized vehicle.
Not only are Skips more rugged, but they also have a longer life.
Skip uses a battery that has a 30-mile charge.
So, when you find a Skip that is ready to ride, it really will be available to ride.
It will be in good condition and have a charge.
That’s another way that Skip has solved two significant challenges in the dockless scooter rental industry.
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.