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Los Angeles


A New Way to Get Around a New City

By Erika Lipinski

March 2019

After moving to Los Angeles, I quickly realized how environmentally-friendly this city is. You’ll see many Tesla’s on the highway, and don’t be shocked if you’re handed a paper straw at a restaurant. And in case you didn’t know: plastic bags cost ten cents extra in the state of California. Los Angeles has significantly decreased its carbon footprint over the past several decades, and they still strive to be even greener. A new, environmentally-friendly form of transportation was born in Santa Monica and has infiltrated many other cities.

“Bird” is not just a Syracuse University library, and “Lime” is not just a margarita garnish—they are electric scooter brands, and a legitimate form of transportation in Los Angeles.

These electric scooters operate through a ride-share app, similar to Uber and Lyft. All you have to do is download the app on your phone, scan the scooter’s barcode, and then you’re ready to ride. Bird and Lime scooters accelerate to a speed of 15 mph. They cost $1 to unlock and are $0.15 for each additional minute, so they are affordable for a college student on a budget. You can use it to avoid city traffic. You can take it for a leisurely ride in the streets of Santa Monica. And, if you’re from New Jersey, you can use it to avoid pumping gas.

One of my favorite first memories of this program was during welcome week. We heard that Justin Bieber was renting a house in the Toluca Hills development across from our apartment complex. We went into the neighborhood on Lime scooters and road up and down the streets for fun. There is something so nostalgic about riding a scooter around a neighborhood with friends. I saw some gorgeous views of the Hollywood Hills and in that moment, LA felt like my new home.

Whether you use the scooter to get from point-A to point-B or ride around for fun with friends, it’s definitely an experience everyone should try once while in Los Angeles.