Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Lyft and Uber both want in on e-scooter craze

Lyft and Uber both want in on e-scooter craze

According to a new city law that came into effect on Monday, June 4, any company that would like to offer on-demand dockless scooters for transport in San Francisco is required to apply for a permit.

San Francisco temporarily stopped all use of the scooters in sharing programs at it attempts to restore order in the streets and sidewalks, as the most recent transportation trend has exploded with huge popularity. 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.

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Lyft has been in talks with officials of San Francisco city to discuss possible permit through applications and has proposed some prototypes as at last month according to TechCrunch. 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.

While the city is processing the permits, no company is allowed to have its scooters on city streets.

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"As part of their permit application, companies must demonstrate how they will minimize their impact on San Francisco's sidewalks, while maximizing their transparency to the public", the SFMTA explained in how it'll choose which applicants will receive the permits. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which is issuing the permits, said it will likely take until the end of June to finalize the permits.

To get the permits, each company has to demonstrate that it will provide user education on safe sidewalk riding and parking, be insured and have a privacy policy to safeguard users' information. Scooter startup Skip, Bird, Lime and Spin are among the rivals battling for a share in the scooter-sharing service market. Besides Uber and Lyft, other companies such as Bird, Lime, and Spin are expected to have applied. Scoot rents out motorized scooters that look like mopeds.

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The ride-hailing giant Uber is looking to get in on the scooter business, the news website Axios first reported Thursday.

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