Scooters vs Bikes: SA's bike-share program may feel effects of scooters

'It takes a while to see what the impact is going to be,' exec says

By Max Massey - Reporter/Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - From Southtown to downtown San Antonio, it seems like at every corner you can find a Bird or Lime scooter sitting or on the move.

It's nothing new that the scooters are seeing success, but it could be at the cost of the Alamo City’s bike-share program.

Q: Has there already been a decrease in usage for the bike-share program?

A: "Any time there’s new technology that comes on the scene, in any industry, it takes a while to see what the impact is going to be," J.D. Simpson, executive director of San Antonio Bike Share, said.

There are 64 bike-share programs with about 550 bikes that can be found around the city and only after a few months, there hasn’t been a sizable impact.

"It’s a new technology and we certainly appreciate new technology and anything that's going to come along and help make transportation easy and better in San Antonio," said Simpson.

KSAT spoke with both scooter and bike riders to ask them about their preferences.

Q: Why are you riding the scooters and why do you think they’re so popular?

A: "It’s just convenient smaller, not a hassle to get through people on a sidewalk where a bike might be bulkier," said Eddie Salinas, who has been riding the scooters to work for about a month.

Salinas said the scooters are not only fun but they also make his commute around town easy as well.

"Sometimes when you’re in a time crunch, you can go back and forth really fast where a scooter is pretty convenient," Salinas said.

But the scooters aren’t permitted everywhere.

"We are able to go into areas where motorized vehicles are not allowed so we can go into parks and along the mission reach and the museum reach and trails and things like that," Simpson said.

Q: Why do you still use the bike-share program?

A: "I know the bikes are also a nonprofit and they depend on people using them to stay going. They are good for the environment so I have always been a huge fan of the bike," Andrea Piascik said.

Piascik uses the bikes to get to work and said a big part of using them is the physical fitness aspect.

"I just feel like we should be walking more and biking more for our own health especially in San Antonio. With all these tacos, (we) gotta find a way to stay in shape somehow," Piascik said.

It’s still too early to tell if the scooters will drive the bike-share program out of town, but riders of both alike do agree it’s an easy, convenient and fun way to adventure around.

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