In New York and other cities, healthcare workers can now access urban ridesharing service at no cost.

The moto-industry is starting to mobilize in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic; now, NIU says it’s helping out, too. The electric scooter manufacturer is working to offer free transportation to healthcare workers around the world. 

NIU, the self-proclaimed “world’s leading provider of smart urban mobility solutions,” provides electric scooters to ride-sharing operations in major cities. The company is especially strong in China, where it has 1050 stores in 181 cities. It’s got a presence all over the world, though, supplying battery bikes to outfits in the US and Europe. Although it’s not as highly hyped as outfits like Damon or Lightning, NIU’s production far outstrips the halo bikes built by those companies. NIU currently has seven different e-scooter series, and has won major design awards like the Red Dot for its machines. 

Now, NIU is using its massive network to help healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s created the MoveSafely program, which provides free usage of its e-scooters to the people fighting this pandemic in the front lines. 

Here’s how it works: to take advantage of the new program, healthcare workers must first download NIU’s app to their phone, and use it to verify their identity and employment. From there, users can access the e-scooter fleets in New York City (Revel), Antwerp/Brussels (Poppy and Scooty), Frankfurt (Frank-E), Milan (Go-Volt), and OldenBurg (Ewe-Go). 

NIU doesn’t list a timeframe for the program; its press release just says it’s valid “until further notice.” 

Although electric step-throughs might not have the same hairy-chested image as blood bikers aboard full-sized sport tourers, this is smart move for urban commuters in congested city traffic. Depending on a jurisdiction’s laws, an e-scooter usually doesn't require motorcycle licensing, so more riders can access the fleet. Alsoif e-scooters have the same traffic regulations as a bicycle, they’re able to cut through gridlock much more efficiently, even in cities with rules against lanesplitting (cough cough, NYC, cough cough).