Pulse: How We Spend: Trends: Suddenly Scooter

By now we’re familiar with Philly’s well - known riders (Marc Vetri) and the most - ­cited reason for ownership (fuel efficiency). But we caught up with some unexpected ­scooterers to find out why they’re reinventing the urban commute

Who: Veronica Stickelman, 26, Pennsport.  Occupation: Customer operations manager, Comcast.  Her ride: 2006 Honda Metropolitan.  Rationale: Safety. “I had a couple of close calls on my bike. I figured I needed to be faster and louder.”  Gripes: Stickelman hopes for a better system for scooter parking. She’s successfully contested nearly a dozen tickets.

Who: Matthew Henry Luther, 35, and Amber Day Luther, 27, Old City/NoLibs.  Occupations: Senior multimedia producer; architect.  Their rides: 2009 Honda Ruckus, 2009 Honda Metropolitan.  Rationale: Accessibility. You’ll find Amber squeezing into small spaces to take photos.  Trendsetters: Five more scooters have appeared in their apartment building.

Who: Taylor Fletcher, 31, Bensalem.  Occupation: Business owner.  His ride: 2004 Suzuki Burgman.  Rationale: “My maxi – scooter is the same as a motorcycle, but with more trunk space and better gas mileage.”  Nice guy: Fletcher founded the Philly – based Wild Hogs Scooter Club, which does fund – raising rides for local charities.

Who: Kathy Nell, 58, Roxborough.  Occupation: Reading tutor and retired Philadelphia public – school teacher.  Her ride: 2006 Vespa LX150.  Rationale: “I already have my motorcycle license, so my Vespa seemed like just another form of biking.”  No fear: Nell felt victorious after managing to get a kayak paddle home aboard her scooter.