Scooters Bring New Side Hustle to Dallas

On any given night once the sun has set in Dallas, a scavenger hunt sets in… at least it has since motorized scooters joined the city’s bike share programs at the end of last month.

Unlike the bikes, companies Lime and Bird enlist the help of residents, contractors in a sense, to collect the scooters at day’s end and return them to the streets fully charged the next day.

It’s a job teacher Whitney Mahan signed up for well before the scooters actually arrived, hoping it would bring cash flow during the summer months.

“So far I’ve found it to be worthwhile. It’s about 30 minutes to find them and then only 15 to put them back out,” said Mahan.

Mahan makes two rounds, filling her minivan with four scooters by day and four more each night. She charges each group in her home for about six hours, making about $40 a day.

She tends to stick to her own Lower Greenville neighborhood.

“I don’t mess with downtown and all of the one way streets,” said Mahan.

But according to Lime and Bird, the areas that bring more challenges also result in a bigger payout, which can range anywhere from a few bucks to $20.

“It's fast money. If you pick them up every night on a continuing basis, then they’ll be a deposit two days later,” said Mahan.

That's why she believes "juicing" is quickly growing in popularity. A DFW based Facebook community she created has nearly 40 members, though Lime won't release the number of people who've locally signed up for the service.

Mahan says she had concerns before signing up after learning that people in other cities with scooter service often race each other to collect scooters. 

But so far, she says the competition hasn't impacted her ability to quickly collect scooters near her home along Greenville Avenue.

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