Buying guide

Electric Scooter vs. Public Transport: Which is the Best Choice for Your Daily Commute?

Electric Scooter vs. Public Transport: Which is the Best Choice for Your Daily Commute?

Your commute is quite important, as you do it day in, day out! It can go one of two ways. It can be either a breezy, thrilling, and life-enhancing experience or a dreary, gut-wrenching, soul-destroying experience that leaves you dreading waking up in the morning. But there's hope; you can choose. Read on to find out why e-scooters are your best choice.

Evaluating Cost-Effectiveness: Electric Scooter vs. Public Transport

Electric scooters showcase a lot of perks in terms of cost-effectiveness. Here are some key benefits:

  • Reasonably low initial investment
  • Fewer recurring expenses
  • Minimal hidden costs compared to public transport
  • Energy-efficient choice
  • Won't break the bank

In terms of both purchase and maintenance, electric scooters are an economical option. You can pick up a quality e-scooter for a fraction of the cost of a car, and maintenance is a breeze, with fewer parts to worry about and no monthly or quarterly check-ups needed if you take good care of it. Here, you can read more about essential electric scooter maintenance tips.

Initial Investment

The average price of an electric scooter ranges from $500 to $4,000, depending on the quality and features. With no need for insurance or financing costs, electric scooters provide an affordable option for city dwellers looking to zip around town without the financial burden of car ownership.

While brand-name electric scooters may have a higher price tag due to reputation and additional features, basic models can offer a budget-friendly. So, whether you're after a top-of-the-line ride or want to test the waters, there's an electric scooter for every budget. Check out Apollo Air, one of our big hits for commuters. 

Recurring Expenses

There are very few recurring expenses associated with electric scooters. Some of the benefits include:

  • Minimal charging costs (around $0.04 per charge)
  • No need for monthly passes or tickets like public transportation 
  • Average maintenance costs are low and depend on the level of usage

Replacing parts on electric scooters can vary in cost, but battery replacement can cost around $500 US or $700 US per 10,000 km for regular use. With proper care and maintenance, electric scooters typically need to be replaced after 2 to 4 years, depending on factors such as usage and maintenance. But that only applies to regular scooters. Apollo Scooters are designed to last longer to accompany you on many more journeys and commutes. Learn more about the long-term financial benefits of owning an e-scooter.

High costs of urban transportation

Commuters in the U.S. spend approximately $8,466 annually on their commute, which is about 19% of their annual income. This includes costs like fuel, vehicle maintenance, parking fees, tolls, and parking tickets.

Modes of Transportation:

  • 76% of people commute by personal vehicle.
  • 11% of people commute by public transportation
  • Other modes include ride sharing (7%)
  • taxis (5%)
  • car sharing (5%)
  • and biking (10%)

Average Time Spent Commuting — Workers spend an average of 239 hours commuting each year. Additionally, the average American worker loses 32 hours to traffic annually.

Average Car Maintenance Costs — The average cost to operate a new car in 2021 was $9,666. This includes $1,771 per year for full coverage car insurance and $699 per year for license, registration, and vehicle taxes.

Best and Worst Cities for Commuters:

Best city — Buffalo, NY, with an annual cost of commute at $6,427.

Worst city — Detroit, MI, with an annual cost of commute at $12,801.

Gas Prices — The average national cost of a gallon of gas was $5 in June 2022 but fell to an average of $3.71 in May 2023.

It's pretty clear that a lot of us could keep a bit more cash in our pockets if we could hop on public transport. But here's the thing: the American Public Transportation Association tells us that almost half of Americans – that's 45% – don't have any public transport options at all. We're talking no buses, no subways, no commuter trains, no streetcars, no ferries, and no special services for folks with disabilities or the older crowd. 

So, for a good chunk of us, it's either get behind the wheel or just stay put. And that's exactly why we're bringing up cars in a chat about e-scooters and public transportation. It turns out, a lot of average Americans just don't have the option to use public transport, even if they wanted to.

At least it was the case not so long ago, but now we have e-scooters, which can both save you time and money.

Watch our thrilling video showcasing the race between the Apollo Air Electric Scooter and public transport! ⬇️

Public transportation

In contrast to e-scooters, city transport has also become quite costly. Let's take New York City as an example.

NY Subway and Buses

One-Way Ticket: $2.90

This is the standard fare for a single subway or local bus ride. And remember to double the price to consider two trips — to and from work or school.

Monthly MetroCard: $132

This unlimited ride MetroCard is valid for 30 days from the first use and can be used on subways and local buses.

NY Commuter Rail (e.g., Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North)

One-Way Ticket: Varies

The price depends on the distance and the specific line. It can range from $2.75 to over $10 for one-way trips. If you travel both ways, the price might get out of hand pretty easily.

Monthly Pass: Varies

Depending on the zones and distance, Monthly passes can range from around $100 to over $400.

If you add up the numbers, you will learn that you spend over $1 000 annually on your city transportation. Check out what kind of e-scooter you can get for that amount. 

Navigating City Traffic: The Speed Advantage

Electric scooters provide an excellent speed advantage amidst city traffic. With an average speed of around 20 mph (32 km/h), they allow riders to bypass congestion and save precious time on their commutes. Their compact size and maneuverability enable them to navigate tight spaces and find alternative routes, making them a convenient choice for city dwellers.

A man in black clothes and helmet stands on an the Apollo phantom e-scooter

Also, electric scooters could provide a faster commute than public transport during peak hours. A study showed that the average travel speed of an electric scooter is similar to that of a bike, making it an excellent option for those looking to shave minutes off their daily commute. And all that without breaking a sweat, so you're as fresh as a daisy when you get to work or school.

Beating the Rush

Electric scooters are the perfect solution to evade the usual rush hour delays associated with public transport while offering a maximum range suitable for daily commutes. Buses and trains can become bogged down during peak hours, with average speeds of 12.7 to 14 km per hour and 50 to 100 miles per hour, respectively.

On the other hand, electric scooters can zip through congested areas at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h), making them a time-saving option for running errands or getting to work in a hurry. With their impressive speed and agility, electric scooters are the perfect companion for those looking to beat the rush and arrive on time, every time.

Flexibility on Two Wheels

Their flexibility in route planning and adaptability to fluctuating traffic conditions are significant advantages of electric scooters. Some benefits include:

  • Adaptability to fluctuating traffic conditions
  • Compact size and maneuverability
  • Easy adjustment of route on the fly
  • Avoidance of traffic jams
  • Ensuring a smooth and efficient journey

Electric scooters encourage a sense of exploration and adventure, as riders have the flexibility to choose their paths and discover new routes throughout the city. Route planning algorithms help determine the optimal route based on distance, traffic conditions, and charging station availability, making for a more efficient and personalized commuting experience.

Longer commutes

Of course, municipal transportation has one massive advantage over e-scooters: long-distance travel. It is neither time-effective nor comfortable (depending on the weather) to travel, e.g., 50 miles to work every day on an e-scooter. So, this point goes to city transport.

Integrating with Urban Life: Accessibility and Convenience

Electric scooters, owing to their exceptional accessibility and convenience, are a preferred choice among urban dwellers. They provide easy access to various locations, and their electric scooter stack and simple storage options make them a practical solution for those living in small spaces.

From seniors to those with mobility impairments, electric scooters cater to a wide range of individuals. Their portability allows riders to easily bring them on public transportation or inside establishments, making them an ideal companion for exploring new cities or tackling short trips around town.

Ease of Access

A blong woman is holding a folded apollo scooter

With no need for a license or registration, electric scooters appeal to a broad spectrum of individuals. This makes them an accessible and convenient choice for those looking to get around town without the hassle of obtaining a driver's license or dealing with car ownership.

Storage and Portability

The compact design and portability of electric scooters stand out as key benefits. With an average weight ranging from 7 kg to as high as 70 kg, electric scooters can easily be carried and stored in tight spaces.

From wall-mounted racks to under-bed storage, numerous storage solutions are available for electric scooters at home and work. Ensuring your scooter is stored in a clean, dark, and dry place will help keep it in top-notch condition, ready to hit the streets whenever needed.

Time is on your side

Electric scooters share one advantage with cars. It’s up to you when you set off. The good news is that you won't have to deal with heavy traffic or finding a parking spot. With no timetables to follow, you can start your journey whenever you want.

Environmental Impact: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Opting for an electric scooter as your main mode of transportation can significantly benefit the environment. With zero emissions and eco-friendly components, electric scooters contribute to a reduced carbon footprint and promote sustainable commutes.

Replacing gas-guzzling cars with electric scooters offers several benefits:

  • Reduces traffic congestion
  • Lowers air pollution levels in cities, including carbon emissions
  • It aligns with broader urban sustainability goals, such as reducing waste in landfills and preventing pollution in land and seas.

Health and Lifestyle Considerations 

The use of an electric scooter not only contributes positively to the environment but also fosters physical activity and mental health. Engaging in low-impact exercise like riding an electric scooter can help:

  • Burn calories
  • Strengthen core muscles
  • Improve balance
  • Promote better posture

Additionally, electric scooters offer a fun and engaging alternative to traditional commuting methods, which can help reduce stress and improve the mental well-being of riders. Commuting on an electric scooter allows for a more enjoyable and personalized experience, ultimately leading to a happier and healthier lifestyle, especially in the morning when most of us are still wandering the Zombie land. 

Dive into more details on health benefits of e-scooters.

Physical Activity

Riding an electric scooter engages core muscles, balance, and coordination, providing a light workout without the physical exertion associated with more intense exercise. This low-impact activity is perfect for those looking to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine without straining their bodies. 

Electric scooters are a superb option for those aiming to stay fit and healthy on the go. Their easy-to-use design and safety features provide an enjoyable and accessible way for individuals of all ages and abilities to engage in physical activity.

Mental Well-being

A man is sitting on the grass next to his apollo e-scooter and blowing a dandelion

Electric scooters can enhance mental well-being by offering a fun and engaging alternative to conventional commuting methods. An electric scooter allows riders to enjoy the outdoors and soak up fresh air and sunlight, ultimately improving mood and overall mental health.

Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood, making it an ideal choice for those looking to enhance their mental well-being. Particularly when you can avoid rushed crowds and stressful situations associated with public transportation. So why not hop on an electric scooter and experience the mental health benefits for yourself?

Legal and Safety Aspects 

Electric scooters' legal and safety considerations, dictated by local laws and varying by location, encompass usage and required safety features. Understanding these laws is essential for electric scooter riders to ensure compliance and avoid fines or penalties. Here are the basic guidelines for each state.

You should always gear up with safety features on electric scooters, such as lights, reflectors, and helmets, to protect yourself and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. By adhering to local laws and prioritizing safety, you can confidently navigate city streets and enjoy the numerous benefits of this eco-friendly mode of transportation. 

Understanding Local Laws

Electric scooter riders must understand local laws to ensure compliance and avoid fines or penalties. Regional laws regarding electric scooter usage vary in major cities across the world. Be sure to check the local regulations before you hit the streets.

From age restrictions to helmet requirements, local laws dictate various aspects of electric scooter usage. By familiarizing yourself with these regulations, you can confidently and safely enjoy all the benefits electric scooters offer.

Safety features

Electric scooters should come equipped with essential safety features to protect riders and ensure a safe ride. Helmets are recommended for all electric scooter riders, and some age groups may even be required to wear them by law.

Additional safety features of electric scooters include:

  • Lights and reflectors for nighttime visibility
  • Sturdy frames
  • Reliable brakes
  • Solid traction tires

By prioritizing safety and adhering to local laws, electric scooter and kick scooter riders can enjoy a fun and secure ride on city streets and bike lanes.

An apollo e-scooter with a helment hanging from its handlebar

The Social Dimension: Community and Culture 

Electric scooters cultivate a sense of community and culture among riders. As a shared mode of transportation, electric scooters provide opportunities for people to:

  • Connect and interact with others who are also using scooters
  • Share experiences and stories
  • Form friendships and build relationships
  • Create a more social and connected environment

In addition to the social benefits, electric scooters promote exploration and adventure, as riders can choose their own paths and discover new routes throughout the city. From group rides to spontaneous conversations with fellow riders, electric scooters catalyze social bonding and connection.

Technology and Innovation in Commuting

Continued technological advancements in electric scooters are enhancing commuting options and the overall riding experience. Innovations in battery life, speed, and design make electric scooters even more appealing and efficient for urban commuters. With extended range capabilities, these scooters are becoming popular for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and easily navigate the city.

From GPS tracking and smart features to sleeker, more compact designs, electric scooters are constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern city dwellers. As technology continues to advance, we can expect even more exciting innovations in electric scooter commuting in the years to come.

Wrapping up

To sum it up, when it comes to picking between electric scooters and public transport for your daily commute, it all boils down to what suits you best. Electric scooters give you a sense of freedom and personal control, making your journey a lot more exciting and enjoyable. 

On the other hand, public transport may be a more practical and reliable option for longer distances. Regardless of your choice, your aim should be to make your daily commute pleasant, as it is an integral part of your daily life - we would highly recommend scooters.


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Table of contents

    1. Evaluating Cost-Effectiveness: Electric Scooter vs. Public Transport
    2. Initial Investment
    3. Recurring Expenses
    4. High costs of urban transportation
    5. Modes of Transportation:
    6. Best and Worst Cities for Commuters:
    7. Public transportation
    8. NY Subway and Buses
    9. NY Commuter Rail (e.g., Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North)
    10. Navigating City Traffic: The Speed Advantage
    11. Beating the Rush
    12. Flexibility on Two Wheels
    13. Longer commutes
    14. Integrating with Urban Life: Accessibility and Convenience
    15. Ease of Access
    16. Storage and Portability
    17. Time is on your side
    18. Environmental Impact: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
    19. Health and Lifestyle Considerations 
    20. Physical Activity
    21. Mental Well-being
    22. Legal and Safety Aspects 
    23. Understanding Local Laws
    24. Safety features
    25. The Social Dimension: Community and Culture 
    26. Technology and Innovation in Commuting
    27. Wrapping up