Electric scooters, gradually making its way into the United States transportation system looks like the next area Uber would be battling with Lyft.
"San Francisco supports transportation innovation, but it can not come at the price of public safety", San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement in May.
Electric scooters can certainly be an eco-friendly way to get around town, with the cost to ride them as cheap as $0.15 per minute. In the first six months there will 1,250 scooters on the streets and, if deemed successful, the number could be doubled for the rest of the year. 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. Ofo, which has its US HQ in San Francisco, had worked with the city's authorities for six months to try to secure a place in the pilot and complained about the process.
San Francisco has temporarily halted use of the motorized scooters in sharing programs in an attempt to restore order on sidewalks and streets, as the latest transportation trend exploded in popularity. For this goal, they too have applied for a permit. 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. "This permit program represents a thoughtful, coordinated and effective approach to ensure that San Francisco strikes the right balance". The company applied for a permit to enter San Francisco's scooter business. The companies also need to share trip data with the city and offer a plan for low-income riders.
Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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. The other companies are Scoot, Skip, Razor, Hopr, USSCooter and Ridecell.
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