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... or at least its appearance.

On our most recent trip to Wellington the girlfriend and I were eagerly anticipating brisk weather, warm smiles, delicious food and fantastic coffee. But we were entirely unprepared for the eyesore you see above, the scattered mess of parked electric scooters across the downtown core.

Two companies are currently operating in three New Zealand cities: the local startup Flamingo and also Uber's JUMP. As my girlfriend still has an Uber account we had ample opportunities to try one out but honestly, in a city so small (relative to Toronto) we saw no need.

Just so I'm clear, we didn't really have a problem with the riders, per se; except for some bratty kids doing sick jumps outside of our hotel one night, the majority of scooter traffic was contained within areas where available space could be safely shared with pedestrians—like the harbour or the boardwalk along Oriental Bay. The more hardcore scooter commuters could be found mixing it up with cars on the road. But these brave souls usually had their own ride, and always a helmet.

Fun fact: the Kiwi Mi Store sells an electric scooter for just shy of $700 NZD, the same model originally deployed by Bird in the USA.

Anyway, our problem (ok, my problem) was with the visual blight of these things littered across an otherwise picturesque seaside town. You can't even move the damned things to the side without activating an alarm. Flamingo does have a Feeder program where locals get paid to round up scooters, charge them up and then return them to service, but from what we saw it's not getting enough of them out of the way.

The theory goes that shareable electric scooters are supposed to augment public transportation systems and ultimately help get more cars off the road. A tour bus operator I spoke with had no kind words for them—their riders' unpredictable behaviour made his driving duties unnecessarily perilous.

And wouldn't you know it, scooters have now made their way to my home town, with Bird launching a pilot program in Toronto's Distillery District. Is your town next, or is it already too late?