They're Baaaaaaaaack: Electric Scooters Start To Hit The SF Streets Again
You thought you could get away from them? Fat chance.
The variety of scooter brands we commonly now know of, Bird, Lime, and so on aren't the ones making their return. In fact, the SFMTA had purposefully forgotten about them. In the end SFMTA selected lesser known Scoot and Skip as the beneficiaries of the pilot program, who will soon have the green light to put 625 scooters apiece on the streets for six months, a figure that may double in the last half of the year. “The SFMTA’s decision is based on the strength of the proposals submitted by the two companies,” according to an SFTMA statement issued Thursday afternoon. “The SFMTA found that no other applications substantially exceeded the agency’s standards for operating a shared scooter pilot program in San Francisco to the degree that Scoot and Skip did,” the department added.
Ooooh, BURN. Lime spokesperson Arellano called Skip and Scoot “inexperienced scooter operators” and complained about SFMTA’s process, adding, “We call on the Mayor’s Office and Board of Supervisors to hold the SFMTA accountable."
In case you've also been under a rock, the Bird, Lime, and varying scooter companies came onto the scene of SF streets as rentable transportation just like the Ford Bikes / Uber Bikes of the world. When the companies got so popular amongst SF riders, the SFMTA stepped in and issued a decree that the following companies outlined had to apply for permits in order to operate within city limits. And when problems began to arise with the scooter revolution, the SFMTA put an immediate halt and demanded all scooters be removed from streets.
City Hall gossip (as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle) summarized that SF-based Spin, Lime, Bird, Uber, and Lyft had all made too many enemies with their past freewheeling attitude about regulation.
// For now, enjoy newcomers or continue to throw the scooters into the bay and various water features.