Scooter Startups Are Ditching Gig Workers for Real Employees

In the earliest days of the new scooter-sharing wave, when a company called Bird, run by Uber veterans, showed up in southern California, working in the industry felt a bit like stumbling into the OK Corral. High school students scrapped for the chance to charge or fix scooters for between $10 and $20 a pop. “Mechanics” broke handlebars and wheels so they would be paid to patch them up. “Chargers” hid scooters in their garages until their owners ratcheted up the bounties awarded to catch the strays—then cashed in. Now the startup Spin is taking a different approach to scooter operations, at least in Los Angeles: Instead of contract workers, it's hiring employees to collect, charge, fix, and redeploy its …