By. Kyra Case
Superpedestrian takes back more than 20,000 electric scooters across the U.S.
Link scooters left Manhattan Jan. 1 after Superpedestrian, the company in charge of the e-scooters, ceased operations at the end of 2023. According to TechCrunch, the company plans to reclaim and auction off the e-scooters.
The program initially launched in Manhattan fall 2020 with 150 scooters. Anyone over the age of 18 could rent a dockless e-scooter for $1 to unlock and 25 cents per minute to ride.
Jared Wasinger, assistant city manager, said the e-scooters provided over 400,000 rides in Manhattan.
“The city had an agreement with LINK, as did Kansas State,” Wasinger said. “I do think there is a desire to see if there is another company out there that would provide that mobility option. Not only is it utilized by students, but also by community members. People rely on it as a means of transportation.”
Manhattan resident Brayden Snow said there are positives and negatives that come from Superpedestrian ceasing operations.
“On the plus side, you won’t see any scooters in the road anymore,” Snow said. “It, however, is a cheap, available form of transportation for students. Now they’re going to have to find other ways, whether that be from the bus system that you now have to pay for, or you need to get a ride from a friend, which is gas-inefficient.”
Josie Medill, manager at The Dusty Bookshelf, said the removal of e-scooters makes Manhattan safer.
“I personally think that they are really dangerous, and a lot of people don’t wear them with helmets,” Medill said. “I see people ride them in the street, and I’m kind of glad that they’re gone.”
K-State and the City of Manhattan are working to find a replacement for the popular scooters.
“We are having conversations with K-State to see if there is any appetite to look to another company and possibly have something ready to go by the spring,” Wasinger said. “There’s not as many companies as there were three years ago, and there are some bigger companies who have kind of taken hold of the market across the U.S. The financial viability of those companies will be something we look at. We’ve had companies reach out to us, the Lime and Birds of the world, but we let them know that we’re gonna figure out what kind of procurement process we need to take and then let them know.”