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紐時賞析/全美瘋電動滑板車 紐約偏說不

一對男女在華府白宮附近共乘電動滑板車。 路透
一對男女在華府白宮附近共乘電動滑板車。 路透

Electric Scooters Are Sweeping the Country. New York Says Not So Fast.

全美瘋電動滑板車 紐約偏說不

When Helmis Ortega visited Atlanta not long ago, he toured the city on an electric scooter. Once back in New York City, he was struck by the scooter-free streets.

赫爾米斯.奧特加不久前去到亞特蘭大,騎乘電動滑板車遊覽了這座城市。回返紐約後,卻因街上竟然沒有滑板車而感到訝異。

“It blew my mind,” said Ortega, a paralegal who lives in Upper Manhattan. “How do we not have this here?”

奧特加是住在曼哈頓上城的一位律師助理,他說:「這讓我想不透,我們這裡怎會沒有滑板車。」

The answer is simple: Officials do not believe the biggest — and most crowded — city in the country is ready for scooters.

答案很簡單:紐約的官員們不認為這座全美最大—也最擁擠—的城市已為迎接滑板車做好了準備。

Companies like Bird and Lime that rent scooters in other cities have stayed away from New York because the devices are technically illegal. Rule breakers could get hit with a $500 fine or have their scooter confiscated.

柏德和萊姆這類在其他城市出租滑板車的公司一直沒進駐紐約,因為嚴格說來此裝置在紐約不合法。違規者可處500美元罰款或沒收其滑板車。

So New Yorkers, long proud of their status as cultural trendsetters on everything from fashion to Cronuts, have been left out of the scooter craze sweeping the nation.

因此,在包括時尚、可頌甜甜圈在內的一切事物上素來都以引領文化潮流自豪的紐約人,已被席捲全國的滑板車熱潮排除在外。

Electric scooters have appeared in dozens of cities — from Los Angeles to Washington and across the Midwest — winning plenty of fans and at least as many enemies who view them as a nuisance. They are a cheap way to get around, for fun or commuting, and are faster than walking and more enjoyable than sitting in traffic.

從洛杉磯到華盛頓,乃至整個中西部地區,電動滑板車已在數十個城市出現,贏得大量粉絲,而樹敵之多也不在粉絲之下,反對者認為滑板車是個麻煩。電動滑板車是很便宜的代步工具,可用於娛樂或通勤,且速度比走路快,也比困在車陣中有趣。

The devices recently became legal in New Jersey, where they have already flooded the streets of Hoboken, just across the Hudson River. But it appears that electric scooters are unlikely to arrive in New York City anytime soon.

滑板車不久前在紐澤西州取得合法地位,並且已在哈德遜河對岸的霍博肯市街道上大量湧現,但看來電動滑板車短時間內還不太可能打進紐約。

Leaders in New York are reluctant to change the law and worry that scooters are too dangerous, especially in an increasingly congested Manhattan where cars, pedestrians and cyclists are already competing for limited street space.

紐約市的領袖們不太願意修改法律,也擔心滑板車太危險,尤其是在車流日益壅塞的曼哈頓,這個區域汽車、行人與單車騎士已經在爭奪有限的街道空間了。

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is known to work out on a stationary bike at the gym, has scoffed at the idea of riding a scooter.“I just don’t like the idea personally, because I’m like, ‘If you’re going to move around why are you not getting some exercise?’” the mayor told reporters last fall. “It seems really passive to me.”

紐約市長白思豪以常上健身房騎健身腳踏車聞名,去年秋天他向記者說:「我個人就是不喜歡電動滑板車這點子,因為我覺得:『如果你想到某個地方去,何不趁機運動運動?』我對這個點子真不來電。」

His lack of enthusiasm has not stopped rental companies from lobbying local leaders. The companies have spent at least $475,000 on lobbying for electric scooters and bikes at the state and city level during the first four months of this year, according to state records. Bird and Jump Bikes, an Uber subsidiary, each spent at least $100,000 on lobbying.

儘管他興趣缺缺,電動滑板車租賃公司卻依然在向當地領袖進行遊說。州政府數據顯示,今年頭四個月,這些公司至少已投注47萬5,000美元遊說州、市層級開放電動滑板車和電動自行車。柏德公司和優步子公司跳躍單車在遊說上至少各花了10萬美元。

文/Emma G. Fitzsimmons 譯/羅方妤

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