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Data: Lime; Chart: Axios Visuals

A big question is whether people will still want to ride scooters — or any shared vehicles, for that matter — after we emerge from coronavirus lockdowns.

What they're saying: On the one hand, plenty of transportation experts think scooter riders will think twice before picking one up after it's been handled by previous riders.

  • On the other hand, micromobility enthusiasts say scooters will provide a critical way for people to get around while maintaining distance from others and can fill gaps while struggling public transit systems recover.

Lime's experience in South Korea could offer a glimpse of what will happen when we return to more typical travel patterns.

  • The company has continued to operate a few thousand scooters in Seoul and Busan during the pandemic, and it says scooter use has nearly returned to pre-crisis levels.
  • In a survey of 65 Lime scooter riders in Denver, people anticipated similar levels of car and micromobility use after the crisis, with reduced use of transit and ride-hailing and increased walking and biking.

Meanwhile, rival Bird says it will begin rolling out a new feature that will let customers ride its scooters at a slower speed to get more comfortable if they are new or out of practice.

  • The company says it aims to help riders who may be turning to scooters as an alternative to other transportation modes that make it harder to stay far apart from other people.

The bottom line: Transportation will look different in every city after we exit lockdowns, and how quickly people embrace shared and public transit modes will probably depend on how severe the outbreak has been in their areas.

  • Car use is expected to go up in most places, at least temporarily, until cities assess public needs and roll out new pilot programs with new rules of the road.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with details about Bird's new scooter feature.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.