The truth is more interesting than that. These scooters are indeed "pick up anywhere, leave anywhere) (well, within the operational area). But the charging is not done by maintenance people. It is crowdsourced! You can sign up to be a charger, subject to accepting certain conditions which vary per country. If you qualify, the company sends you a charger or three, and a new mode unlocks in your app where you can see which scooters need charging, can "claim" them and pick them up to charge and then return to one of "nest" locations. There are time constraints, e.g. you have to put the charged scooter back on the street not later than 7am next day, or your payout is halved, and for repeat offences you can be disqualified.
Actual *repair* is probably done by real maintenance people, acting on tickets submitted by riders spotting a broken scooter.
Wow, so I wonder if based on same idea, whether it shouldn't be so hard for a company to remunerate trashed scooter collectors. My guess is for this to work it has to be worth while the effort. Since the company released these in the streets, for profit, shouldn't they account for the price of cleanup as well?
This is the best, funniest, most enlightening article about scooters I have ever read. Dude can write.
OK, I definitely want to ride a Wheels e-bike! So much more appealing to have that lower center of gravity:
The fact that they are more like bicycles than Razor scooters is,
itself, a major advantage. Sitting, rather than standing, means
stability. It means your knees and ankles aren’t a suspension component.
It has 14-inch wheels with pneumatic tires. It uses dual disc brakes
from a high-end bicycle. It has a twist-grip throttle, like a
motorcycle. And it has Bluetooth speakers, so you can play your music
from the bike itself, freeing you from having to dangerously (and in
Santa Monica, illegally) ride on the street wearing headphones.
Another article / op-ed on the topic in the NYTimes.