Uber, Lyft eye two-wheeled business: Electric scooters

  • Uber, Lyft eye two-wheeled business: Electric scooters

Uber, Lyft eye two-wheeled business: Electric scooters

Under terms of the program, shared-scooter operators were to have had their scooters off the streets by Monday, June 4, and then apply for one of the city's permits starting on Thursday, June 7.

Axios reported on Friday that San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc.is considering an offer to buy New York-based Motivate International, the bikeshare company behind Ford GoBike in the Bay Area and CitiBike on the East Coast. These include the three companies that have already launched fleets in the city - Bird, LimeBike, and Spin - as well as newcomers, such as Lyft, Skip, and bike sharing company Ofo. Uber applied as Jump, the electrical-assist bike-share company it acquired earlier this year.

San Francisco's transportation agency will lend out up to five permits to the scooter companies, so Uber and Lyft will be competing for dominance in the scooter business with other scooter startups like Bird, Lime and Spin. The permit process was instituted after thousands of electric scooters descended on San Francisco in April with little to no warning to city officials.

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.

In the first year, the city will allow up to 2,500 scooters if all is going well during the first half year of the program. For this objective, they too have applied for a permit. The number of permits could double in the program's remaining six months.

A few weeks ago, the city announced new regulations for electric scooters. The SFMTA also didn't return a request for comment.

With Uber joining the fray, at least seven companies are vying for a maximum of five scooter permits in San Francisco.

Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the Jump acquisition will help Uber go beyond "just being about auto sharing and vehicle hailing to really helping the consumer get from A to B in the most affordable, most dependable, most convenient way".