Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Uber and Lyft looking to start offering electric scooter services

Uber and Lyft looking to start offering electric scooter services

The ride-hailing company recently applied for a permit to join the city's pilot program in an attempt to cash in on the e-scooter craze.

The quality of the Chinese unicorn's bicycles is much derided and although the company does not yet have a scooter design, it would launch thousands of scooters in via its new scheme in summer 2018 if granted a license, as wells as e-bikes across the U.S., according to the head of ofo North America.

In a recent news update, Uber, the transportation network company has stated that it is going to invest in another new transportation venture; this time, into the scooter business and has already submitted a formal application for the same.

Www.cnet.com report on Friday that San Francisco officials passed a law in April limiting the number of scooters in the city. It's also interested in other types of shareable transportation. The same month, Uber acquired San Francisco bike-sharing service startup JUMP for around $200 million.

Scooter companies market the mode of transportation as a cheap and efficient solution for trips that are too long to walk but too short for a vehicle ride.

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Other firms vying for permits include Spin, LimeBike, Bird, Razor, Scoot, Ofo, Waybots, CycleHop, Ridecell, and USSCooter.

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. In that sense, this move makes sense for Uber as it works to become a transportation platform - and will put it right up against its archrival Lyft in a burgeoning new market.

What's interesting is that it appears that Uber and Lyft's paths are traveling down the same route.

"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.

Of these 12 companies, only six are known to make or operate electric scooters - Bird, Lime, Spin, Uscooter, Skip and Razor.

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