Uber, Lyft eye two-wheeled business: Electric scooters

Uber, Lyft eye two-wheeled business: Electric scooters

The pilot program started June 1 and at least 10 different companies have applied for permits, but only five in all are granted.

Uber applied for the permit through Jump, an electric-bike sharing provider it acquired in April.Uber's CEO recently said he envisions his company going beyond vehicle sharing and into bikes, and possibly scooters, so people have more commuting options.

In San Francisco, both Uber as well as Lyft will compete for permits against other providers of electric scooter Lime, Bird and Spin.

The companies that receive permits will get a set number of scooters under the program.

Lyft has been in talks with officials of San Francisco city to discuss possible permit through applications and has proposed some prototypes as at last month according to TechCrunch. For this objective, they too have applied for a permit.

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. "This permit program represents a thoughtful, coordinated and effective approach to ensure that San Francisco strikes the right balance". The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which is issuing the permits, said it will likely take until the end of June to finalize the permits.

Operators that win the new scooter permits will need to provide user education, be insured, share trip data with the city, have a privacy policy and offer a plan for low-income users. The deadline to apply was Thursday.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. The other companies are Scoot, Skip, Razor, Hopr, USSCooter and Ridecell.

First look at the ofo e-scooter with Segway branding. Those three companies in March "unloaded hundreds of motorized scooters" across the city, the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority said in May.

For both Lyft and Uber it's unclear if the applications mean they'll be building out their own fleet of e-scooters that unlock via a credit card-linked mobile app, or partnering or acquiring an established scooter-share company.

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