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Home / Technology / Two electric scooter companies, Skip and Scoot, take the win for SF permits

Two electric scooter companies, Skip and Scoot, take the win for SF permits



 Two footstrians taking note of a group of scooters on an SF sidewalk.

Bird scooters will not be taking flight, but soon you'll be able to go for a Scoot.


James Martin
                                                

Twelve companies, including Uber and Lyft, had been jockeying for permits to operate dockless, profitable electric scooter programs in San Francisco. Men the city had said there was room for just five .

After three months of studying applications, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) said Thursday that only two companies would get the permits: Skip and Scoot. These permits will allow them to participate in a one-year test program in the city.

"The agency looked for applications that prioritized the city's concerns about safety, disabled access, equity and accountability," the SFMTA said in its announcement. "Taken as a whole, Scoot and Skip's applications demonstrated not only a commitment to meet the terms of the permit, but a high level of ability to operate a safe, equitable and accountable scooter share service."

The companies that didn ' Scooters have become a controversial topic in the Bay Area. The commotion began after three companies ̵

1; Bird, Lime and Spin – unloaded their e-scooters in San Francisco in late March without any warning to lawmakers or residents. Almost instantly, hundreds of scooters littered the sidewalks.

Some locals were happy about being able to easily scoot block-to-block in the congested city. Andre folk klagede på at rytterne ikke fulgte de lovene på veien og endangered fotgjengere ved å gå på sidewalks og forlate de scootere hvor de følte seg like – blokkerende parkeringspladser, cykelracks og kørestolstilgang.

In April, San Francisco officials passed a law limiting the number of scooters in the city. Sammen med kun at tillade fem firmaer til at operere, lovgrænser det samlede antal scootere i byen til 1.250 i de første seks månedene. If that number works, the cap could increase to 2,500.

In its permit application, each company had to demonstrate how it would provide user education on wearing helmets and not riding on sidewalks, as well as best practices for safe scooter parking. Hver også måtte få forsikret og institutet et privatlivspolitik for at beskytte brugerens oplysninger. The companies additionally needed to pledge to share trip data with the city, providing access to all neighborhoods and offering a plan for low-income riders.

"We are already reaching out to local groups to learn about their concerns for equity and work together to create solutions that make e-scooters accessible to all communities, "Skip CEO Sanjay Dastoor wrote in a blog post. "This pilot program is the beginning of an opportunity to invest in areas like bike lane infrastructure and job training and to connect more people to public transit systems like Muni, BART, and Caltrain."

The SFMTA said Scoot and Skip had the strongest applications of the 12 companies. Skip, which runs a scooter rental program in Washington, DC, proposed deploying ambassadors two approach riders about safe behavior. Scoot, which currently operates a electric moped rental service in San Francisco and Barcelona proposed including helmets with each scooter rental along with free in-person training.

"Our team is ready to offer this new service properly, professionally and safely, in partnership with the city, "said Scoot CEO Michael Keating in an email. "Med vår proven, track record i levering af elektriske mobilitetsofferninger forstår vi betydningen af ​​at opprettholde positive relationer med både offentlige embedsmænd og borgerne."

En stor forskjell mellem Scoot og Skip og mange af de andre firmaer som søkte om tilladelser er at disse to tjenester har arbejdet med byregulatorer før launching. Regulators served both Uber and Lift cease and desisted letters when they rolled out their ride-hail services without permission several years ago. And the same happened when Bird, Lime and Spin flooded the streets with their scooters earlier this year.

"It was a 'let's drop these into the streets and ask forgiveness later' approach, 'said Thom Rickert, an emerging risk specialist for public sector consulting company Trident Public Risk Solutions. "The first thing scooter companies needed to do was open a dialogue with the municipal authorities. Had they asked for input first, we probably would not have seen as much blowback."

The companies that did not get the San Francisco permits said they were disappointed.

An Uber spokeswoman said, "Granting only two scooters permits unnecessarily limits mobility options in San Francisco, and we plan to follow up with the SFMTA to share our concerns. " A Spin spokesman said, "We hope SFMTA will consider allowing additional operators to participate in the pilot program. " A lift spokeswoman said, "We are hopeful that we will have the chance to offer scooters in San Francisco in the future." And a bird spokeswoman said, "We will continue to work with San Francisco officials, partners, community organizations, and advocates in hopes of bringing Bird back to the City by the Bay. "

Lime, which "The SFMTA has selected inexperienced scooter operators who plan to learn on the job, at the expense of the public good," Lime CEO Toby Sun said in an email. "The SFMTA's action of the dockless bike and scooter share programs has lacked transparency from the beginning. We call on the Mayor's Office and Board of Supervisors to hold the SFMTA accountable for a flawed permitting process … We are planning to appeal this decision and will look for new ways to serve the people of San Francisco. "

As the city processed the permits over the past three months, no company was allowed to have scooters on the streets. That's going to last a bit longer. The SFMTA said it was not issuing the licenses to Scoot and Skip until October 15. The companies will then be able to deploy 625 scooters each, which the city estimates is about the same amount of scooters that were on the streets before the permitting law took effect

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