New tiny vehicles come with a lot of lingo. Here’s a glossary of terms:
You’re already doing it. Micromobility refers to tiny vehicles that can carry one to two people, are typically human- or battery-powered, and are used to travel short distances. Your bike counts, and so does Citi Bike, your old Razor scooter, electric scooters, e-bikes, skateboards, roller blades, pogo sticks, and everything else that is not a car.
Whether it’s a bike or a scooter, you don’t own a shared micromobility vehicle, you pay to use it. It will probably cost more than owning over time, but the trade-off is freedom from costly repairs, storage needs, and concerns about theft.
Just like Citi Bike. These bikes and scooters reside at central locations where they must be returned. Only one e-scooter company uses a docked system today. Bonus: Docks are typically located in former car parking spaces.
Like Citi Bike, but not. These bikes and scooters lock to themselves or to a bike rack, so they can be left anywhere, and are found via a phone app. Most e-scooter systems and many bike share systems are dockless.
A scooter with a little extra scoot. Currently illegal in New York City. Typically travels 15–20 mph.
Class 1 E-Bike
An electric bicycle with a motor activated by pedaling, also known as pedal-assist. Can travel up to 20 mph. Currently legal in New York City.
Class 2 E-Bike
An electric bicycle with a motor activated by a throttle. Can travel up to 20 mph. Currently illegal in New York City.
Class 3 E-Bike
An electric bicycle with a motor activated by a throttle. Can travel up to 28 mph. Currently illegal in New York City.