How dirty are handlebars on dockless scooters?

Bacteria tests reveal surprising results

By Erica Hernandez - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Dockless scooters are a popular new form of transportation, but have you ever wondered how dirty they are?

KSAT 12 put them to the test. We worked with San Antonio Testing Lab and swabbed the handlebars of a Lime Scooter, Razor Scooter, Jump Scooter and a Bird Scooter.

After 72 hours we got our results -- and they were surprising.

Two of the four scooters were absolutely clean. Not one bit of bacteria was detected.

As for the other two, only very little bacteria was found. In fact, so little that it only registered as a 1. The average toilet, by comparison, can register more than a thousand.

"Zero is absolutely clean and sterile and of course the higher the number the dirtier it is," Richard Hawk, from San Antonio Testing Lab, said.

Overall they are pretty clean, but then again we only tested four. You never really know who will ride them who may be sick or throw them in some dirt. 

It may still be wise to use hand sanitizer or wipe down the handlebar. Another great tip: ride one that's been out in the sun.

"The sun is our friend," Hawk said. "Its ultraviolet light kills a lot of bacteria just naturally."

All in all, these scooters passed the test.

Below are responses from two scooter companies about the maintenance done to the scooters. Not all companies have responded but we will update this story when a statement is sent. 

"Razor's local team inspects and maintains each scooter when it is collected to optimize the exjperience for riders," RazorUSA said.

“Our juicers and operations team take great care of our scooters—from charging them, wiping them down and making sure they’re working properly—to ensure that they’re ready for the next rider," Lime Austin and San Antonio general manager Collin Morgan said. 

We want to hear from you!

As the city continues to weigh the future of dockless scooters and bikes, the story about them will coninue to evolve. 

What questions do you have about dockless scooters and bikes? Ask us a question below and we'll do our best to look into it!

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