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Uber Wants To Enter Scooter Business In San Francisco

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Uber is looking to branch out from four-wheelers to two-wheelers. The company applied for a permit to enter San Francisco's scooter business.

Uber Applies For Permit To Operate E-Scooters In San Francisco

The ride-hailing company wants a piece of the growing scooter craze in San Francisco and has already applied for the city's upcoming scooter-sharing pilot program, according to a report published by Axios.

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 car ride.

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.

San Francisco's Pilot Program

The pilot program will last for 12 months and help the city determine whether the scooters serve the public interest. According to the program, up to five companies can apply for the permit. The city will restrict the number of scooters to 1,250 for the first half of the year, and if things go well, that number could double up to 2,500.

The city's transportation agency introduced the pilot program in a bid to regulate the new means of transportation after a sudden boom in dockless electric scooters led to chaos on the streets of San Francisco and became a headache for city officials.

For instance, people would use the scooters on sidewalks and then leave them anywhere once they were done with them, causing inconvenience to people with disabilities who have to navigate past the two-wheeled vehicles.

Scooter-Sharing Pilot Program Receives A Dozen Applications

As many as 12 companies have applied for the e-scooter pilot program in San Francisco, including scooter manufacturer Razor and Uber rival Lyft. Startup companies that are already offering scooter-rental services in the city, such as Bird, LimeBike, and Spin, as well as newcomers, Skip and bicycle-sharing company, Ofo also filed applications.

Each company has to convince officials that it will educate riders about what they should or shouldn't do when it comes to riding or parking a scooter on the sidewalk to obtain a permit. The companies have to be insured and have a privacy policy in place to protect user information. The applicants also need to share trip information with city officials and offer a budget-friendly plan for low-income riders.

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