Bikes and scooters in São Paulo and Moscow

To add some color to my previous post, it looks like office dwellers on Avenue Faria Lima move around on kick scooters and bikes:

To avoid the jams, office workers venture out on rented bikes and scooters. Making up around 1.5% of the area covered by those, the Faria Lima district captures 20% of all the operations in the case of scooters and 13% of the bike voyages. One can say this feat is a “corporate” success.

It makes sense but doesn’t explain why other paulistanos don’t ride bikes and scooters all that much. Perhaps they do but prefer their own vehicles because rentals are too expensive for them. For comparison, bikes and scooters – both rental and self-owned – seem ubiquitous in Moscow in the warmer seasons.

In colder times, especially with snow on the ground, most bikes and kick scooters become impracticable. However, as the 2020/21 winter season has shown, electric scooters and bicycles are both usable and in demand in Moscow. Most of the demand seems to come from delivery services, third-party and in-house. Adverts like this provide anecdotal evidence: a Japanese food restaurant is hiring a “courier” to deliver orders on a three-wheel electric bike (“trike”), will pay $670/mo.

In other words, a lot of people moving around Moscow on scooters and bikes are neither investment bankers nor tie-wearers (engravatados) more generally but rather delivery persons – who are indispensable to Moscow’s economy, especially these days. However, Japanese food is probably better in São Paulo. I’m pretty sure it is.

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