People Are Getting Paid To Hoist Submerged Share Scooters Out Of The Water

I personally have never thrown a form of share transport into a body of water. I have never felt the thrill of hefting a cheap bicycle with a Raspberry Pi and an RFID reader bolted to it into a river. I have never used my arms to launch a GPS-tracked scooter in a perfect arc that deposits it squarely into a lake. I would be lying if I said that I had. Yet I still feel like I can understand the perverse yet simple pleasure it could bring. Some things are fun to do just because it’s easy to do them.

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Anyone who lives in a city with any form of app-based share bikes or scooters will be well familiar with seeing those very same app-based share bikes or scooters deposited in whatever waterways your city happens to be built around. As an example, just this very morning I saw a helmet from a Lime scooter briskly making its way towards the source of the beautiful and undeniably brown Brisbane River:

Apparently (at the very least in California) enough people are doing it that other people are, in turn, able to make money retrieving them from the water. Like this man spotted by New York Times reporter Jack Nicas:

John had been casting a grappling hook into the water of Oakland’s Lake Merritt, retrieving Bird scooters for cash. Bird operates similar to Lime, with users leaving their scooters wherever they like, to be later picked up by people who had signed up to collect and charge them. The people who retrieve them are paid on a sliding scale for each scooter based on how difficult the individual scooter is to retrieve, with the hardest to get paying $USD20 each.

I guess the lesson here is: If you’ve got a bit of spare time and want some extra cash, invest in a grappling hook.