e-Scooters in Bangkok

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Updated: September 14, 2019

Over the last few years e-Scooters have become a craze in many cities around the world, and in the last year a few companies have set up e-Scooter pick up points across Bangkok. There are even some companies offering eScooter Bangkok tours.

Globally e-Scooters have received a mixed reaction as to whether they are a good or bad thing. In some countries it is illegal to ride on both the pavement and the road, so effectively banning their use in public. In Thailand, the uptake is just starting and the verdict is still out.

This week our team decided to hit the streets as we did our own little e-Scooter tour of Bangkok, using e-Scooters provided by Scoota.

Expique Team Exploring Bangkok by eScooter

We can honestly say that it was a lot of fun. It may take a short while (20-30 minutes) to get used to them, but once you get your confidence it is easy riding and super fun. Especially around the areas of Rattanakosin and along the Thonburi riverside it is a great way to explore.

The one big question is whether it is ok to ride on the pavement or the road. Pavements are for walking on, so we rode on the road as much as possible, but there are some really wide pavements with very few pedestrians which are suitable. If you explore in the right places there are also many quiet roads and backstreets you can take, which makes riding fun. We did experience riding along Sathorn Road in rush hour and we would not recommend it!

Safety is always going to be something you should take seriously and our biggest recommendation would be to always wear a helmet. You may feel comfortable in your own ability on an eScooter, but you have no control of the vehicles around you.

Afterward our adventure we sat down with Manuel Bender, the Founder of Scoota, to understand more about this current trend.

Why did you start SCOOTA?

Bangkok is one of the most congested cities in the world, especially for rush hour traffic, with a very bad air quality. Since the first time I came here some years ago and now, traffic got only worse. “Mobility” is a real and urgent issue to be tackled. Furthermore, in an urban environment like Bangkok 60% of the trips people are undertaking are only up to 8 km – so called micro-mobility trips. Therefore, we thought about a viable and sustainable transportation mode for Southeast Asian. Looking at different markets in North America and in Europe, we have started SCOOTA in 2018. SCOOTA is Thailand’s first electric scooter rental and ridesharing company. We aim at becoming the leader for clean and sustainable micro-mobility in Southeast Asia.

Explore Bangkok by eScooter - outside Wat Pho

Do you think Bangkok is a friendly city for e-Scooters?

Infrastructure in most cities is mainly centered around cars, also in Bangkok. In our view, a city’s infrastructure should benefit the inhabitants and not only one mode of transport. Urban planning needs to consider that factor. I use my e-scooter on a daily basis for going from home to the office, from the office to get lunch, and from meeting to meeting. I do not want to miss it anymore. I firmly believe that e-scooters are a viable transport mode for cities like Bangkok. Especially for small trips between 2 to 4 kms. Roads in Bangkok are not as bad as people think and I never had a situation when I could not ride my e-scooter. Bangkok’s infrastructure is neither friendly nor unfriendly for e-scooters. It seems to me that it is similar to any other big city in Europe or North America. I would welcome if there would be more dedicated bicycle or e-scooter lanes which would help to shift people from 4-wheels to 2-wheels.

Where’s your favourite area to ride an e-Scooter in Bangkok?

There is so much to explore on an e-scooter in Bangkok. You will realize that you start enjoying commuting more than sitting in a car, taxi and being stuck in traffic. I personally like to ride in parks, especially Lumphini Park, in Bangkok’s Old Town riding and seeing all the great sightseeing spots, Bangkrachao – the “Green Lung”, and all small sois tucked away from the main and touristy areas all over the city.

What happens if it rains?

Short answer: It depends. If it is pouring, you better stop riding an e-scooter due to the rider’s safety. Roads might be slippery and visibility can be limited. But I am also sure that nobody enjoys getting completely wet in one of Thailand’s tropical rain showers. Our e-scooters are water-resistant (IP54), which means a little drizzle does not harm the e-scooter and if you are in the middle of a ride, you can complete it worry-free. Just make sure that the battery is protected at all times against water.

Have you experienced riding an e-Scooter in Bangkok? What do you think about them? Would you like to do an e-Scooter tour in Bangkok?

Expique team exploring by eScooter

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