Earlier this week, Uber launched its electric bike-sharing program in Berlin, Germany, in a move that shows the ride-sharing company isn’t just about cars. It’s also interested in other types of shareable transportation. Uber confirmed that the company’s next move is scooters, and San Francisco will be Uber’s next market. Of course where Uber goes, Lyft follows.
Uber applied for San Francisco’s scooter pilot program Axios reports. Unsurprisingly, Lyft has also applied for the same program. The city of San Francisco will award five permits to scooter companies, and the competition is heating up. Aside from Uber and Lyft, scooter startups Bird, Lime, and Spin are also looking to get a piece of the action.
A few weeks ago, the city announced new regulations for electric scooters.
The city of San Francisco said that companies operating electric scooter rental services will need to have a permit in order to do so. The deadline for applying for a permit expired on Thursday.
In the first six months, a total of 1,250 scooters may be permitted to hit the streets of San Francisco, with the number set to double by the end of the first year. The city is looking to determine whether an increase in scooters will actually serve the public.
The SFMTA has reacted to numerous complaints about scooters. One issue with this popular transportation method is that many people ride them on the sidewalk. And what’s even more annoying is the way these scooters are dumped after use.
Any scooter operating without a permit in the city and found on sidewalks will be impounded, and operators will be fined $100 per scooter per day.