If you live in or have traveled to any one of the 65 U.S. cities now populated by public scooters, you may already have your opinion set on the mode of transportation. In March, seemingly overnight, public scooters arrived in San Francisco by the hundreds, on every street corner, before they were quickly removed.
The lack of city planning, forethought and permission granted to the new form of public transportation was a no-go for San Francisco, but an allure for other cities. Public scooters quickly found homes in popular locales such as San Diego and Los Angeles — where residents and visitors currently find scooters propped up nearly everywhere — and even back in San Francisco.
If this is all news to you, the electric scooters now used for public transportation are pretty simple. Much like the two-wheeled scooters of your childhood, Bird, Spin, Skip and Lime are motorized, battery- and electric-operated versions, but much faster. No longer pushing along with foot power, these electric scooters reach speeds of 15 mph — doesn’t sounds like much, but on a pedestrian sidewalk or intersection, those numbers add up.
Much like the scooters themselves, the business model behind the scooters is simple. Users sign up on the corresponding app with a credit card and locate the closest Skip, Spin or, more prevalent, Bird and Lime scooters using the app. Once users find a nearby scooter, they simply activate and ride. Users pay cents on the minute, making the electric devices increasingly affordable when compared to cabs or rideshare apps and much faster than walking. Once users are finished riding, they park the scooter and end the ride on the app.
Part of the fun of the scooters is the pick-up-and-go appeal. Grab one when you need and drop it when you’re done. There is no set parking dock or charging location for most city scooters so users drop them anywhere, literally.
The divide in the scooter conversation is also pretty simple. Those who use public scooters like them, and those who don’t use them, don’t. Being that scooters are typically left in obtrusive and slightly congested areas, drivers and walkers have to work around them. They also move much faster than the average walker or runner for that matter, requiring pedestrians to pay constant attention while walking to avoid getting hit.
Being that these scooters are pay as you go for the general public and not owned by any one person, the chances of riders wearing helmets, as the law requires, are slim to none. One possible solution to this issue, however, is the portable helmet. The Morpher is the only flat-folding helmet of its kind, so frequent commuters can pack it in their bag and travel easily and safely. Morphers come in six colors and cost $149.
While the trend may be wavering, safety should be key and urban commuters and business travelers may need to be more mindful of their surroundings while traveling.
Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
Chef Philip Guardione used to spend his days and nights on Manhattan’s Prince and Spring streets, where his popular restaurants Piccola Cucina Enoteca and Piccola Cucina Osteria attract locals and tourists who love his Sicilian-inspired cuisine as well as the street scene in the vibrant SoHo neighborhood.
The New InterContinental San Juan is officially reopening next month. The opening marks the completion of the property’s first major renovation in more than 20 years.
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FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.