Economy

Uber and Lyft looking to start offering electric scooter services

Uber and Lyft looking to start offering electric scooter services”

Auto ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft are looking to diversify. Five companies will be picked by San Francisco's transport agency to join a year-long pilot, according to PitchBook.

Uber and Lyft are among the companies vying for electric scooter permits in San Francisco as the ride-sharing companies seek to move beyond their roots in autos. Companies already running schemes in San Francisco were ordered to remove their scooters from sidewalks by June 4. However this acquisition makes sense for Uber who has recently bought Jump, a company that now has an exclusive permit to run a dockless bike sharing system in San Francisco. For this objective, they too have applied for a permit. The city will restrict the number of scooters to 1,250 for the first half of the year, and if things go well, that number could double up to 2,500. Other people complained that riders didn't follow the laws of the road and endangered pedestrians by riding on sidewalks and leaving the scooters wherever they felt like it - blocking parking spots, bike racks and wheelchair accesses. "This permit program represents a thoughtful, coordinated and effective approach to ensure that San Francisco strikes the right balance".

Scooter heavyweights Bird, Spin and Lime which already run e-scooter hire schemes in the city have applied as have auto ride-sharing firms Lyft and Uber (via Jump, the scooter brand it bought).

Uber is applying for a scooter permit in San Francisco, the news website Axios first reported Thursday.

Operators that are given new scooter permits must provide user education in order to be insured, share trip information with the city, as well as have a private policy that offers plans for uses that are low-income.

Uber has declined to comment on the report from Axios so we'll just have to wait and see how this one pans out. Those three companies in March "unloaded hundreds of motorized scooters" across the city, the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority said in May. The other companies are Scoot, Skip, Razor, Hopr, USSCooter and Ridecell.



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