Uber and Lyft Eyeing Electric Scooters

First look at the ofo e-scooter with Segway branding

Uber and Lyft are seeking permits to operate electric scooter sharing services in San Francisco.

Ofo, the company known for its yellow bicycles, debuted its proprietary e-scooter in a blog post late last week and is looking to make its entrance into the San Francisco market.

Motivate also operates bike-share programs in eight United States cities, including San Francisco, Washington and Boston, and reported 3.18 million rides last month.

To apply for a scooter permit the cost is $5,000 and winners will have the pay $25,000 per year to the city and contribute another $10,000 to property repairs as well as maintenance endowment.

For the first year, San Francisco will allow a maximum of 2,500 scooters if all goes well during the first six months of the pilot program. 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 was reportedly in talks to acquire bike-share company Motivate, the company behind Citi Bikes in NY and Ford GoBikes in the Bay Area.

They are also requiring companies or individual to provide a proposed service area as well as have a plan to address sidewalk parking and riding. At the end of May sharing companies were ordered by city officials to remove all scooters from the streets before June 4. According to Axios, Lime and Spin have said they will comply with the rules set down by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and Bird would work with the SFMTA to obtain a permit.

Preference will be given to companies that can ensure their customers properly ride and park the scooters on streets and sidewalks. The companies also need to share trip data with the city and offer a plan for low-income riders.

Of these 12 companies, only six are known to make or operate electric scooters - Bird, Lime, Spin, Uscooter, Skip and Razor. Those three business in March released thousands of motorized scooters around San Francisco said the city's Metropolitan Transit Authority during May.

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