SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — The electric scooter sharing market is facing a downturn as it struggles with various regulations including ‘immediate towing of illegally parked scooters,’ ‘mandatory driver’s license,’ ‘mandatory helmets’ and more.
Wind Mobility, a Berlin-based mobility startup, recently decided to pull back from South Korea after struggling to operate 2,000 scooters in Seoul, Jeju and other areas.
Another major South Korean e-scooter sharing firm also decided to retreat from certain parts of Seoul.
E-scooter sharing companies began to face a crisis following the introduction of new legislation in May that obligates all scooter riders to carry driver’s licenses and wear helmets, and were hit hard by Seoul city government’s new rule in July to immediately tow illegally parked scooters.
The Shared Personal Mobility Alliance, a consortium of 14 e-scooter sharing firms, reported that e-scooter usage had dropped by 40 to 50 percent following the introduction of the new legislation.
Following Seoul’s new policy on illegally parked e-scooters, e-scooter sharing firms have been charged over 300 million won (US$254,970) in just two and a half months.
“The realistic solution to this problem is to pave more bicycle roads, separated from cars or pedestrians,” said Choi Young-woo, CEO of Olulo, the operator of local electric scooter sharing services provider Kickgoing.
“If certain aspects of e-scooter use remain illegal, their market will continue to shrink, even if they are a future-oriented solution for various traffic problems in the city.”
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)