Memphis added yet another set of scooters to its growing fleet, as Bolt officially launched here Friday.
The Florida-based company put 100 scooters on the streets and plans to add 150 over the next few months. But, these scooters are not the traditional electric scooters Memphis has seen. The Bolt Chariot scooter is “the biggest revolution in micro mobility thus far,” said Andy Shenkman, Bolt’s North American director of operations.
“We at Bolt have created a revolutionary device that bridges the gap between what micro mobility was and what it will be,” Shenkman said. “We’ve taken all the amenities of an automobile and combined it with the convenience of dockless mobility.”
Bolt’s Chariot scooter is equipped with a small foot basket for cargo, two cup holders, a slot for phones, and a USB outlet. The scooter’s design also differs from others here. The Chariot is larger and has two foot platforms, rather than the traditional single platform. Shenkman said this gives riders a better center of gravity and 180 degrees of visibility.
Similar to other scooter companies in town, Bolt is accessed through an app. However, Bolt does not charge the common $1 activation fee, but charges 50 cents per minute, compared to the 15 cents per minute that Lime, Bird, and Spin charge.
Shenkman said that the “added amenities to the scooter legitimize that extra price.”
Bolt currently operates in 13 different U.S. cities and Paris. Memphis is only the fourth city to get Bolt’s Chariot scooter.
Shenkman said in choosing which cities to place scooters, Bolt considers the transportation needs there.
One of the company’s priorities, he said, is figuring out how to “use our devices to connect the under-served neighborhoods where there isn’t transportation or infrastructure to the interior where there might be better jobs or better quality of life. The goal is to bridge that gap and that is absolutely a core philosophy of our company.”
Bolt aims to consistently maintain 35 percent of its fleet in under-served communities, Shenkman said. Bolt accepts cash payment options for riders without smartphones or bank accounts. It also offers reduced prices for riders who qualify for government assistance though its Bolt Forward program.