Service Area

Determining the service parameters for municipalities and companies is a delicate balance that can help the success and public acceptance of E-scooters. Ultimately, E-scooter companies are completing the last portion of the commute and connecting public transportation systems to end locations. [1] Due to the convenient mobile nature of the E-scooters, the use of the E-scooters will be concentrated in certain hot spots and popular destinations. However, as regulations are finally catching up to the explosion of E-scooter use, we are seeing municipalities require service to underprivileged communities. [2] As it stands currently, the average E-scooter can travel 15-20 miles on one charge and the batteries are the biggest limitation to the E-scooters mobility. [3] Through the use of Geofencing, E-scooter companies control broad areas for use of the E-scooters and govern E-scooter speeds to improve safety.

Geofencing allows the E-scooter company and municipality to control the service area and impact rules such as speed limits and parking. Geofencing is a general term that describes the electronic process of monitoring or tracking technology or electric devices. [4] This invisible boundary or geofence can be created using several different technologies with varying degrees of accuracy such as Wi-fi, GPS, cellular data, geomagnetic and Bluetooth beacons. [5] The primary purpose of geofencing is to contain or restrict the movement of E-scooter past certain parameters; however, it can also be used to help enforce rules and promote safety. Now that the use of E-scooters has exploded, cities are seeing some of the positive and negative effects, such as sidewalk obstacles, vehicular accidents, and pedestrian injuries. In response to some of the issues, companies are using geofencing to regulate speed limits in certain high pedestrian areas and preventing use along highways. [6]

While there is no limitation to how large an area that could be fenced in, there is a much bigger issue with how small you can make it. [7] Essentially, the better the signal and data, the more accurate a geofence can be. While the minimal size varies based on signal strength, building interference and phone factors, it is estimated that geofencing can be as accurate as 50 – 150 feet. [8] As it stands currently, the lack of accuracy prevents the ability of companies to stop riders from using the E-scooters on the sidewalks or prevent improper parking by users.


[1] Rory Carroll, Are ride-share electric scooters the future of urban transport? The Guardian (April 25, 2018),

[2] Elijah Chiland, LA moves forward with regulations for dockless bikes and scooters, (June 28,2018),

[3] Ethan May, Here’s everything you need to know about Bird and Lime electric scooters, Indianapolis Star (June 21, 2018),

[4] Kalle Kaitala, What is a geofence? – A complete guide to geofencing, (January 31, 2018),

[5] Id.

[6] Alyssa Walker, Everything you need to know about scooters, bike share, dockless bikes in Los Angeles, Curbed Los Angeles (December 17, 2018)

[7] PlaceIQ, Location Data Accuracy Revealed (2016).

[8] Id.