Scooters Set To Return To SF After Two-Month Moratorium by Sam Pasco

Written by on September 3, 2018

Photo credit: Quartz, Mike Murphy

The decision is in. After more than two months of waiting, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) decided that it will give permits to just two scooter companies, Scoot and Skip, for its one-year pilot program. Each will be allowed to operate at most 625 scooters for the next six months, starting in October.

 

Scooters were pulled from San Francisco streets back in June due to hundreds of complaints about the scooters blocking sidewalks and unsafe riding. No company has been allowed to operate since due to the SFMTA reviewing permits and establishing regulations. This process took longer than expected due to the unexpected number of companies applying for a permit, with more than a dozen companies vying for just a handful of spots in the tech capital of the world.

 

There wasn’t a question about if the scooters would return, but when and who would return. The biggest news from this decision is that the SFMTA has snubbed two of the biggest scooter startups in Bird and Lime, each valued at more than $1 billion. Those two companies are widely viewed as having started the overnight craze, dropping their scooters in the city without any permission or regulation from the city, and the SFMTA may have taken this into account when reviewing applications.

— Sam Pasco


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