Strolling along the seven-kilometre stretch of Doha Corniche, one wouldn’t fail to notice the dozens of electric motorised scooters (e-scooters) scattered around specially near the park close to Sheraton Doha.
The e-scooters labeled “Loop” are part of a new scooter-sharing service which makes them available for short-term rentals through an app. In some countries, scooter-sharing systems have gained traction as one of the least expensive and most popular micro-mobility options.
These dockless e-scooters don’t have a fixed station and can be conveniently picked up and parked in various locations in the city. Currently, dozens of these e-scooters can mostly be found on Doha Corniche, the West Bay area and other arbitrary locations around the city, and they are fast becoming a popular alternative mode of transport as well as a new form of leisure activity for residents.
“I always make it a point to ride the Loop scooter whenever I come to the Corniche to take a break from a busy day at work. It is a very enjoyable and engaging pastime specially in the company of my friends during weekends,” said Mark, one of the Corniche visitors who frequently rides the e-scooter.
Some people find using the e-scooters not only a fun activity but also as an alternative form of transport for travelling to nearby areas.
“One thing that I like about these scooters is that they are environment friendly and they are convenient to use for short-distance travels. It is very useful at the same time fun to ride when I go to the metro station from here,” said Mahmoud, a university student who was seen riding an e-scooter on the Corniche on Saturday.
To be able to use the service, one has to download the Loop app and register. Using credit card, a user can choose among three plans namely Basic which costs QR25, Advanced (QR50) and Pro (QR100). With Pro plan the user gets a QR10 free credit.
The e-scooter can be unlocked by scanning the QR code, and R2 is charged every time a user unlocks an e-scooter. First-time users can enjoy a five-minute free ride, after which QR0.75 is charged per minute. One can earn up to 10 free unlocks by inviting friends.
Using the Loop app, one can find the location of the nearest e-scooter to ride and read the instructions on how to use the e-scooter as well as additional safety reminders and tips. The app also has a number of extra features such as indicating the distance travelled and the number of calories burned by the rider.