Waking through the old city centre of Chiang May, I have to admit something has changed since yesterday; or maybe I didn’t notice it the day before. But I think someone dropped something here.
Whole at a sudden, they are everywhere, the orange scooters of Neuron Mobility, the asian scooter company – think Bird and Lime, or Scoot and many other scooter companies who are spreading their wings – on the sidewalks – in the USA and Europe.
Here are two, at the other side of the road, two innocent looking guys are waiting for their next driver and at the corner of the street another couple has been parked against a three. They are everywhere, and suddenly I understand why I wrote myself an article on the scooter war in the Bay [Area in San Francisco]; since these guys might provoke a street fight considering their unorganised omni-present attitude on the sidewalks.
They are dropped here to stay. A plastic board on the steering wheel explains who they are, where they come from, and especially where they are going to: to your feet, if you only scan the QR code, after downloading the application, and make a reservation. Only 299 Bath a week [which is about less than 10 Euros a week], and this guy is yours.
To make the ‘lost puppy’ story complete, spread around in the city are leaflets with this kind of rip-off strokes underneath it, ‘in case if you find my puppy, call this number’, or ‘if you want free piano classes, call this number.’ In this case: ‘if you are interested to join my ride, check out this website.’ Times are changing, so are communication means, and so is the mobility.
Chiang Mang becomes even more interested, since the scooters are not the only orange little vehicles taking over the sidewalks and the streets. Their big brothers are out there as well, bright orange and even equipped with a little basket in the front, they can bring you wherever you want to go in the old city, and for your convenience, they are dockless, so you leave them behind wherever you like to, even if that would be in the middle of the street, like some bikes I’ve encountered.
Between all the cars, tuctucs, motocycles, mopeds, regular bikes, and every mobility device between them, these micromobility devices seem to complete the puzzle, creating tailor-made transportation modes; wherever you go becomes however you go.
I recently wrote an article on the scooter company, so here they are now, for real.