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Transportation

Winter Is Coming, for Scooters

Can electric scooter services like Lime and Bird handle plunging temps and snow?  
A flock of e-scooters enjoy their first snowfall in Kansas City in November.
A flock of e-scooters enjoy their first snowfall in Kansas City in November.Charlie Riedel/AP

For the last three months, Michael Schultz and his girlfriend, Mia, have been making extra money working for Bird and Lime scooters in Denver. They’re part of the freelance workforce that gathers and charges the shared electric vehicles overnight. During a normal week, the couple spend a few hours each evening rolling around in his Jeep to collect the battery-powered e-scoots. Sometimes they make a Saturday out of the adventure, together pocketing about $75 an hour.

It’s starting to get colder and it’s already snowed in Denver a few times, but Schultz says business is still good. He finds plenty of scooters that need their batteries charged. “They get used, rain or shine,” says Schultz, a 36-year-old who works as a DevOps engineer during the day. “Even snow doesn’t stop them.”