Bird, Lime, Spin and Jump, were the biggest things I saw at SXSW’19. What are they? Smartphone organized, electric-powered scooters for rent. There were hundreds littering downtown Austin and in active use. I saw waves of people, up to a dozen at a time gliding effortlessly to and fro. So common that it was no longer cool; just another mundane but convenient mode of transportation, probably taking business away from human-powered pedicabs.
Not all promotions at SXSW have to be elaborate. This simple setup, black background with spokespeople clad in minimal black T-shirts attracted my attention. Converted to back and white, it made for a graphic and simple street portrait. Jump has electric scooters for rent but also distinguished itself by also renting electric bicycles. They were purchased last year by ride sharing company, Uber.
I had no need for fast transport — no scooters or bikes for me. My goal was the street; to capture life in Austin during SXSW. I was quite the Luddite opting to walk instead of using these new-fangled vehicles. The slow pace enabled me to see and document, and to exercise. Not a bad deal, this walking thing. Creativity and health benefits wrapped into one.
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