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Electric scooter shares can be found all across the United States and even around the world. Odds are, it won’t be difficult for you to find e-scooters in a city near you. But if you’re looking for something a little different — perhaps with greater comfort and safety — you’ll want to keep an eye out for a new player in the industry: Wheels scooters.
With Lyft and Uber getting into the e-scooter game, it seems like all the leaders in the gig economy are jumping to join the trend. The founders behind popular dog walking app Wag! are no exception. They’re moving on from the pet industry to the transportation world with their new brainchild — the Wheels scooter. With this scooter, they’re looking to reinvent yet another industry with a convenient and innovative service.
This article will show you what Wheels is, how its scooters are different, and how to use the service. We’ll also guide you through how to land a Wheels Transporter gig and start making easy money.
- What Is Wheels?
- What Makes the Wheels Scooter Different?
- How to Rent a Wheels Bike
- Where Are Wheels Bikes Available?
- Make Money As a Wheels Transporter
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Wheels?
Founded by Jonathan Viner, Joshua Viner, and Chris Stavlas in 2018, Wheels is an electric mobility app that connects users to nearby e-scooters. While it’s one of many rising dockless electric bike and scooter companies, it sets itself apart from competitors like Bird and Lime by focusing on safety and sustainability. It also offers a uniquely seated riding experience.
The company is currently backed by nearly $90 million in funding — a testament to the expected impact of its scooter’s innovative design. With this funding, Wheels is steadily taking on even the most competitive markets in the U.S. and beyond.
What Makes the Wheels Scooter Different?
Wheels scooters, now officially branded as Wheels bikes, combine some of the best features of both e-bikes and e-scooters. While it has a comfortable and padded seat like a bicycle, it requires no pedaling whatsoever. Users instead only need to guide the mobility device with handlebars and rest their feet on its collapsible pegs if desired.
The Wheels bike is also designed with plenty of safety features. Because the wheels are wider than traditional e-bike and e-scooter wheels, and because your weight is always centered, you won’t run the risk of tipping over as easily.
Even with this greater stability, Wheels scooters further enhance safety by using an integrated, patent-pending helmet share system. On the back of every Wheels bike, you’ll find a free helmet that you can unlock and use during your ride. A headliner can be peeled off before you use the helmet, to prevent sharing germs, sweat, and lice.
Wheels Bikes are built for bike lanes, taking advantage of existing city infrastructure. This feature also keeps pedestrians safe by keeping relatively high-speed mobility devices off sidewalks. When needed, you can also use a built-in electric horn.
In addition to being safer, Wheels scooters are also more sustainable. They’re built with plenty of swappable batteries and parts, so they last longer and can remain better-maintained than most e-scooters, which often need to be tossed when new models come in or a major part breaks. Even the included helmet headliners are biodegradable.
Wheels bikes have built-in Bluetooth speakers that you can connect with your phone to play music during your commute.
How to Rent a Wheels Bike
To get started with renting your first Wheels bike, you’ll need to download the Wheels app from the App Store or Google Play store. Once you do so, you can begin the account creation process by opening the app and tapping “Let’s Ride.”
When prompted, enter your phone number, tap “Submit,” and enter the verification code you receive via text before tapping “Next.”
Once this process is complete, you’re ready to start riding.
Finding and Renting Bikes
When you’re ready to ride, jump on your app’s home screen to start looking for bikes near you on the map, as marked with bike icons. When you reach the bike you want, you can tap “Scan to Ride” and scan the code on your Wheels Bike.
Alternatively, you can tap on a nearby Wheels Bike and select “Reserve” to put it on hold until you walk over and scan it. Note that you’ll only see bikes within 20 miles of you on the app, so depending on your location, you may not be able to make a reservation ahead of time.
Ahead of your first ride, you’ll be prompted to enter your payment information, so make sure you have your credit card ready.
Once you’ve unlocked your Wheels scooter, you can disengage the kick-stand, tap the power button, and twist the right handlebar to accelerate. To stop, use both brakes. Your e-scooter can be used for about 30 miles if it’s fully charged.
Paying on the Wheels App
The cost of Wheels scooter rides varies by city. Users have reported the unlock fee to range from $0 to $1, while the per-minute fee can be as high as 35 cents. In the Scottsdale market, for example, a scooter costs $1 to unlock, plus 29 cents per minute, with a $3.49 minimum fare. You can find the cost of a Wheels bike by tapping a nearby bike icon in the app.
Beyond providing your payment information on your first ride, there’s no need to manually submit a payment after your trip ends. All you need to do is slide the “End Ride” button within your Wheels app to get an accurate per-minute charge.
There’s also no need to return your Wheels scooter to the same place where you picked it up. Simply park the device by a bike rack or curb, then push the kick stand back down. Your destination simply needs to be within a valid operating area, as marked in your app.
Avoid parking in areas that block traffic or pedestrian pathways, as well as places that make it difficult for other users to find scooters, such as underground parking garages or gated areas.
Where Are Wheels Bikes Available?
Wheels is quickly expanding to major destinations around the world, but you can currently use the scooters in the following cities:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Chicago, Illinois
- Cleveland, Ohio
- College Station, Texas
- Dallas, Texas
- Los Angeles, California
- Madrid, Spain
- Miami, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
- San Diego, California
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Tallahassee, Florida
- Salt Lake City, Utah
Make Money as a Wheels Transporter
Wheels is one of the few dockless electric scooter companies that offers a true driving-only gig. As a Wheels Transporter, you don’t need to bring home scooters and add to your electric bill by charging overnight. Instead, your role is simple: pick up Wheels bikes and take them to a designated “hub,” as marked on the Transporter mode of your Wheels app. Mechanics will take care of the rest of the maintenance process.
As a Wheels Transporter, you are an independent contractor, which means you’ll only need to work when it fits your schedule. When you do work, you’ll be paid within three days.
The company advertises that the gig can pay over $75 per night, though Wheel Transporters do typically only earn about $4 to $6 per bike. This is on par with the average pay for Bird scooter chargers, and you’re likely to have similar levels of competition.
How to Sign Up as a Transporter
To get approved as a Wheels Transporter, you need to be at least 19 years old with a driver’s license. Though not required, having a vehicle with plenty of cargo space is helpful to allow you to pick up as many Wheels Bikes as possible in one go.
As long as you fit these requirements, you can sign up with your phone number, email address, and location on this application page. Soon after, you’ll be emailed a contractor agreement. And after signing, Transporter mode should become available in your app, so you can start earning — simple as that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wheels scooters are a new on-demand transportation option that makes it easier, safer, and more comfortable for people to find a ride in cities around the world. To learn more, read our answers to these frequently asked questions.
1. What is the Wheels for All discount program?
Wheels uniquely offers a discount program for anyone who is currently a member of a state or federal financial assistance program. Examples include Medicaid or Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT). As a part of Wheels for All, you get 50% off every ride, including the unlock fee.
Wheels for All is currently available in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and San Diego. In order to get approved for the discount program, you need to fill out this application form in place of the standard sign-up process.
2. How fast can a Wheels Bikes go?
Most Wheels Bikes can go as fast as 22 miles per hour, though the maximum mileage may be different based on your city’s regulations. This maximum speed helps prevent dangerous accidents on the road.
3. Can I use Wheels Bikes at any time?
Wheels scooters are not available 24/7. You can use them between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. during any day of the week, though weather may impact availability. Wheels Bikes will always be taken offline when it’s raining.
Take Mobility to Another Level
With Wheels, you can travel throughout your city without having to worry about returning your mobility device to its original location or paying for more time than you need. With greater safety, sustainability, and comfort than a standard electric scooter or bike, this app is reinventing transportation once again.
For drivers seeking another easy, convenient side gig, Wheels presents a great opportunity for you, too.
If you live in San Francisco, you don’t have to wait for Wheels to become available in your area to start riding. Learn about an alternate shared transportation option — Scoot scooters — for your next ride.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.