New e-scooter subscription service launches in NYC

Unagi Scooters launched an e-scooter service in Brooklyn.
Unagi Scooters

Brooklynites can now zip around town aboard a sleek new electric two wheeler, as Unagi Scooters officially launched in the borough on March 17 — offering a state-of-the-art scooter for just $49 per month. 

“We think it’s a killer deal, and we think it’s better than ride-sharing,” said David Hyman,Unagi Scooters’ founder and CEO in an interview with Brooklyn Paper. 

The monthly charge breaks down to $1.63 per day, and comes with unlimited access to a personal scooter, without any of the stress of ownership like insurance and repairs, Hyman said.

The mobility company’s founder — who has launched multiple startups in the music technology industry, and previously served as CEO of Beats Music — started Unagi as the demand for alternative modes of transportation skyrocketed since the coronavirus pandemic, as many have avoided crowded public transit. 

“I became obsessed with scooters. I’m a hardware geek,” Hyman said. “And I wanted to make the best electric scooter — which we did.” 

Hyman is hardly the only person to capitalize on the two-wheeled trend, which has become a crowded space occupied by the likes of CitiBike and Brooklyn-based Revel, which is similarly launching a personal electric bike subscription service for $99 each month. 

After an initial $99 for the first month, however, Unagi’s recurring price falls to just $49 for the brand’s E500 dual-motor scooter — offering a competitive price for the electric transit option, which will be delivered to customers’ doors within 72 hours of signing up. 

And unlike scooter services in other cities, where riders only rent scooters for the duration of their trip before controversially leaving the two wheelers scattered on the sidewalk, Unagi scooters will be under the care of the subscriber throughout their membership with the company, and will store the foldable 26.5 pound vehicle in their homes.

Hyman hails portability as a significant selling point for Unagi’s products, as users can ride it to the subway and collapse it one-click to carry it onto the train. 

“Our one-click fold technology makes the scooter super portable to bring,” Hyman said. “To get to the Hudson line or just ride the whole rest of the way. That’s the beauty of these devices.” 

Under optimum riding conditions, the Unagi scooter holds enough charge to ride 15.5 miles before needing to charge — which takes between four-to-five hours, according to the website — and has a speed limit of 20 miles per hour to comply with federal regulations. 

Unagi launched in New York with a service spanning all of the five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester and eastern New Jersey. Throughout the country, Unagi launched in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle.