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Gotcha Scooters: How They Work For Riders, Pricing, Locations and More

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Getting around quickly and easily can be challenging if you don’t own a car, but the cost of owning a vehicle typically exceeds $500 per month.

Fortunately, rideshare services can help you get to your destination with ease.

Still, while some rideshare services offer chauffeured motor vehicles (Uber, Lyft) services, others provide self-operated options like scooters and bicycles.

Gotcha is one such service.

But if you’re unfamiliar with this company, you might find yourself wondering how it works.

This guide will discuss everything you need to know about Gotcha scooters and electric bicycles, helping you decide if this rideshare service might be a suitable solution to your transportation needs.

What is Gotcha?

Gotcha is a rideshare company founded in 2009 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Since its creation, it has expanded services in dozens of cities and college towns throughout the United States.

Unlike Uber and Lyft, which offer rides via independently contracted drivers, Gotcha primarily provides self-operated vehicles like electric bicycles and scooters.

That said, riders can also opt for standard car-based rideshare services via the Gotcha app.

How Does it Work?

Gotcha rideshare services work via the Gotcha smartphone app and specialized QR codes on the available Gotcha e-bikes and scooters.

Riders looking to rent a self-operated scooter or electric bicycle open the Gotcha app and scan the code on the vehicle.

After that, the bike or scooter unlocks, allowing users to travel.

Those looking to use Gotcha rideshare passenger services open the app, select the electric vehicle (EV) option, and enter their destination address into the app.

The user then waits for the driver to arrive at their current location.

Are Gotcha Scooters Safe?

Gotcha scooters are equipped with automatic lights to make riding during the evening safer.

In addition, they all feature brake triggers near the handles, making it easy for riders to come to a safe stop.

All-in-all, they’re not dangerous, especially when operated lawfully.

Do You Need a Helmet to Ride a Gotcha Scooter?

Though Gotcha doesn’t enforce a helmet policy, wearing a helmet while riding a Gotcha scooter is highly encouraged.

Additionally, Gotcha urges riders to comply with all local restrictions and laws, including wearing a helmet while operating an electric scooter.

What Services Does Gotcha Offer?

Gotcha rideshare services encompass three primary modes of transport:

  • Electric bikes
  • Scooters
  • Rideshare services

Let’s examine these options to understand what they entail.

Electric Bikes

Gotcha electric bicycles allow riders to pedal their way to their destination, but they also have electric motors that help make each push forward more powerful.

These e-bikes also feature front-facing lights for safer nighttime travel.


Scooters are the primary transportation option available via Gotcha.

Riders can choose between standing scooters (smaller and more affordable) and sit-down scooters (safer for on-road travel but more expensive).


Gotcha owns a large fleet of electric vehicles (EVs), which are battery-powered cars capable of traveling about 100 miles on a single charge.

While these EVs might not be available in every location, they’re a popular and affordable transport option for those living in Charleston, South Carolina.

Who Can Rent a Gotcha Scooter?

Gotcha scooters are only available for use by adults.

Additionally, riders must have a fully-functioning smartphone and current cell phone plan to sign up for Gotcha rideshare services and unlock vehicles.

Renter Requirements

All Gotcha riders must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Have a valid phone number
  • Have a valid email address
  • Have available funds to pay for services

Where is Gotcha Available?

Gotcha rideshare services are available in several major cities throughout the United States.

The company is constantly expanding its locations, focusing on college campuses and major metropolitan areas.

List of Available Cities

Are you interested in trying Gotcha?

You can use this list to check if Gotcha is available in your area!

Currently, Gotcha rideshare services are available in:

  • Auburn, Alabama (Auburn University)
  • Mobile, Alabama
  • Magnolia, Arkansas (Mule Rides Bike Share)
  • Tucson, Arizona (The District on 5th)
  • Richmond, California
  • San Gabriel Valley, California
  • St. Augustine, Florida
  • Atlanta, Georgia (Savannah College of Art and Design)
  • Savannah, Georgia (Savannah College of Art and Design)
  • Springfield, Illinois
  • Highland Heights, Kentucky (Northern Kentucky University)
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan (The Varsity)
  • East Lansing, Michigan
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • St. Clair Shores, Michigan
  • Columbia, Missouri (The Reserve)
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina (University of North Carolina)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina (University of North Carolina, Queens University of Charlotte)
  • Binghamton, New York (Binghamton University)
  • Buffalo, New York (University of Buffalo)
  • Dobbs Ferry, New York (Mercy College)
  • Syracuse, New York (SYNC Bike Share)
  • Toledo, Ohio (ToleGO)
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Tinker Air Force Base)
  • Charleston, South Carolina (Holy Spokes)
  • Rock Hill, South Carolina (Comporium)
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Galveston, Texas
  • San Marcos, Texas (The Local Downtown)
  • Blacksburg, Virginia (Roam New River Valley)
  • Burlington, Vermont (Greenride)
  • South Burlington, Vermont
  • Winooski, Vermont
  • Pullman, Washington (Washington State University)
  • Huntington, West Virginia (Mashall University)

If you don’t see your location on this list, don’t worry!

Gotcha locations are constantly expanding.

For example, Gotcha may soon be available in:

  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • North County, California
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Moscow, Idaho (University of Idaho)
  • Salisbury, Maryland (Salisbury University)
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Morris County, New Jersey

How Much Does Gotcha Cost?

Rideshare service costs vary from company to company, and it’s crucial to keep these price differences in mind when choosing a budget-friendly transport service.

So, let’s break down the typical costs riders can expect when using Gotcha rideshare services.

Electric Bike Cost

You’ll initially see a $5 charge when you unlock a Gotcha electric bike.

This charge covers the initial $1 unlock fee, as well as travel fees.

Electric bicycles incur a $0.33 per-minute fee.

If the rider doesn’t reach the $5 charge during their ride, the remaining funds are kept as a continuing balance in the rider’s Gotcha account.

These funds are applied toward the next ride.

Alternatively, if the rider goes over the initial $5 fee (by using the e-bike for 12 minutes or more), they’ll see the total cost of their ride reflected in a final charge.

Scooter Cost

Like with Gotcha electric bikes, riders can expect to see an initial $5 charge when unlocking a scooter.

The unlock fee is $1, and the remaining $4 is applied to the ride duration.

Standing scooters incur a per-minute fee of $0.33, but sit-down scooters cost $0.38 per minute.

Naturally, riders that go over the $5 charge can expect a higher cost reflected in the final bill.

Rideshare Cost

Gotcha electric vehicles incur the highest costs, but they’re still more affordable than the average Uber or Lyft ride.

Passengers can expect to spend $3 to access one of these rideshare vehicles, and travel is typically restricted to a three-mile radius.

Gotcha Comparisons

Scooter-based and bike-based rideshare services are becoming more popular.

This leads many to wonder how Gotcha compares to other rideshare companies offering self-operated vehicles.

To find out, let’s briefly compare Gotcha rideshare services to other popular companies offering rentable bicycles and scooters.

Gotcha vs. Citi Bike

Citi Bike is only available in New York City and some areas of New Jersey.

Monthly membership includes access to traditional bicycles and a discount on electric bicycle rentals.

However, scooters aren’t part of the Citi Bike fleet.

Compare this to Gotcha, which charges a per-ride fee (instead of a monthly membership) and is available throughout the United States.

Gotcha vs. Lime

Lime rideshare services consist of electric scooters and e-bikes.

Like Gotcha, this company offers standing scooters and sit-down scooters.

However, unlike Gotcha, they don’t offer users the chance to enjoy a short ride in an electric car.

It’s also worth noting that Lime scooters and electric bicycles are available throughout Europe and North America.

Prices vary depending on location.

Gotcha vs. Spin

Spin is a company that provides rentable scooters and electric bicycles, accessible to riders via the Spin app.

The primary difference between Gotcha and Spin is that the latter doesn’t offer electric vehicle rides.

Additionally, Spin rideshare services are available in both North America and Europe.

Otherwise, the rideshare services are pretty similar, even featuring near-identical fees.

How to Sign Up for Gotcha

Signing up for Gotcha rideshare services is a straightforward process that consists of five steps:

  1. Download the Gotcha app from the Apple App Store (iPhone) or Google Play Store (Android)
  2. Open the app and enter your phone number (with area code)
  3. Enter your email address
  4. Confirm that you’re at least 18 years old
  5. Enable location-finding services

After signing up, you’ll see a map showing your current location.

You’ll then have the option to choose your preferred mode of transport (scooter, bicycle, car ride).

If you’ve chosen a self-operated vehicle, you’ll see a map showing the current location of available scooters and electric bicycles.

You can use this map to locate the nearest possible vehicle.

However, if you’ve chosen a car ride service, you’ll need to input your destination address to continue.

From this point, the app functions in much the same way as other popular rideshare apps.

Gotcha FAQs

Below you will find the most frequently asked questions riders ask about Gotcha.

Be sure to peruse these questions (and answers) to discover more about this rideshare service.

What if You Don’t Have a Phone?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to use Gotcha without a smartphone and active cellular service.

Riders need a smartphone to download the Gotcha app, a verifiable mobile phone number to sign up, and a working camera to utilize the QR code scanner that activates Gotcha scooters.

How Do You Contact Gotcha?

You can contact Gotcha customer service representatives via the app, social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), or call the customer service team at 866-BOLT-143.

You can also send the customer service team an email at [email protected].

How Far Do Gotcha Scooters Go Before They Need to Be Charged?

Gotcha scooters typically have a 15-mile battery life, though factors such as rider speed and terrain elevation can shorten or extend this range.

Should You Ride a Gotcha Scooter on the Sidewalk or Street?

Riding Gotcha scooters on a sidewalk may be illegal, depending on the scooter type and the vehicle laws in your area.

If you’re unsure whether to ride on a street or sidewalk when operating a Gotcha scooter, consult with your local law enforcement representatives.

And, as always, be sure to wear a helmet when using a Gotcha scooter or bicycle.

Final Thoughts

Gotcha is a scooter and electric bike rideshare service available in several cities throughout the United States.

It utilizes an app to help users locate available scooters and bikes and a QR code scanner to unlock the vehicle and pay for a ride.

If you’re interested in learning more about rideshare services, be sure to check out our related articles now!

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