PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Slick streets, umbrellas and abandoned e-scooters — all signs that the season has changed.
Devin Goulet usually rides a scooter every day — but not anymore.
“I was kind of bummed,” he said. “I was actually looking forward to it. That is like my favorite part of the day, is riding a scooter home.”
He’s never used one in the rain, but had taken one for a spin while the roads were still wet.
“You can definitely kind of feel it takes a minute,” he said. “I try to sit back and slowly ease into it. I would never squeeze it immediately because you would go sliding for sure.”
Some chose to take the risk in the rain.
“It is a great way to commute,” Jamie McDermott said. “I’ve been told don’t turn at a 90-degree angle, because they tend to plow, so I’m trying to keep the sharpness of the turns down.”
While some scooters remain on the road, you’ll have to wait until the rain dries up to ride a Skip. The entire fleet is offline until conditions dry up.
Skip spokesperson told KOIN 6 News the current fleet is made for warm weather and are only water resistant.
“We are responsive to weather and conditions. As a consideration to the community, while the rains are super heavy, we will be pulling our fleet of Skip scooters from the streets of Portland.
Because while Portland knows rain, and Skip is prepared for rain, we are looking at the big picture as to what’s in the communities’ and our best interest. We’d rather be more cautious than less, to ensure every rider as the best experience with Skip.”
Some Birds are not flying in these conditions, but the company recently debuted a new rugged scooter, which is designed for a better ride.
Bird provided the following statement about safety:
“Bird is extremely committed to the safety of our riders. We take into account the weather conditions of each city where Bird is available and adjust our operations accordingly so that riders can safely access our service. We recently unveiled Bird Zero – the industry’s first rugged e-scooter designed by Bird specifically for Rideshare 2.0. This new e-scooter, which has been rolling out to cities across the U.S., will provide a more reliable and stable ride across a variety of ground surfaces.”
“No one really knows how they fair in winter,” Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesperson Dylan Rivera said. “For the next month we will really have a test of electric scooters and how viable they are in Portland.”
There have been half a million rides in Portland during the 4-month trial period and PBOT said safety is always the priority.
“Be aware that manhole covers, wet compacted leaves can all provide slick surfaces that can be tricky for anyone to navigate,” River said.