Going Green / Scooters Go Green

Going Green

Going green, cities prod commuters to scooter

By Jay LaPrete, for USA TODAY

Scootering to work? Several cities are encouraging commuters to leave their cars in the garage and use motor scooters instead as a way to reduce traffic congestion, a story in today’s USA TODAY reports.

As traffic congrestion grows and air quality worsens, cities such as Columbus, Ohio, are encouraging scooter commuting with special parking and other incentives for the riders.

The article says that San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta and Cincinnati are among cities that have recently created special parking areas for scooters, which some public officials say are more efficient than driving alone in a car.

Scooters take up less road space, zip between stalled traffic and can get 70 miles per gallon. They produce less carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, than cars, but more smog-causing emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

So are they really greener?

Whether they are more eco-friendly than cars depends on whether the top concern is greenhouse gases or smog, Jacob Snow of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada tells USA TODAY. “We think it is a more efficient way to move people,” he says.

Dan Williamson, spokesman for Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus, Ohio, which created spaces for 300 scooters and motorcycles in its downtown last year, weighs in:  “It is greener than using a car. Is it better to use a bicycle? Absolutely.”