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A Comparison of the Three Machines Zipping Down Portland’s Streets

Each company charges the same amount to ride. In other respects, they differ. So we measured them.

Want to rent a scooter in Portland? You have three brands to choose from—each with its own phone app and fleet of scooters. Each company charges the same amount to ride: $1 to unlock a scooter with the app and 15 cents a minute from there. In other respects, they differ. So we measured them. (In one case, literally—the secretive startup Bird wouldn't tell us how much its scooters weigh.)

Lime

Current number in Portland: 683

Size: 3.5 feet high and 3 feet long

Weight: Nearly 29 pounds

Range per charge: Up to 40 miles

One unique operating feature: A speedometer on the handlebars. Also, if you try to move a Lime scooter without unlocking it, it is programmed to threaten to call the police. There is no evidence, however, the scooter actually notifies police.

Bird

Current number in Portland: n/a*

Size: 3.75 feet high and 3.6 feet long

Weight: 27.4 pounds

Range per charge: 15 miles

One unique operating feature: Birds are the most desired scooter for contract workers who sign up to collect and "juice" scooters with electricity overnight, because they are smaller and can be stacked more easily into vehicles.

*Allowed up to 683 by the city. But Bird declined to reveal the current number in operation in Portland. "We want to make sure supply meets demand," a Bird spokeswoman tells WW. "For this reason, the number of vehicles varies by market and it varies over the course of time."

Skip

Current number in Portland: 450

Size: Up to* 3.8 feet high and 3.3 feet long

Weight: 36 pounds

Range per charge: Over 30 miles

One unique operating feature: Skip scooters have "tip-over detection" built into their GPS—so mechanics can see where fallen scooters are and clear them from sidewalks or bike lanes.

*Skip scooters have adjustable handlebars.

For a rundown of the companies backing these machines, head here.

A Comparison of the Three Machines Zipping Down Portland's Streets

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