Uber Beats Lyft in San Francisco’s E-scooter Permit Battle

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • San Francisco uses scoring metric to allow e-scooters
  • Four companies set to deploy a total of 10,000 scooters

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) latest issuance of permits for shared e-scooters brought good news for Uber at the expense of Lyft. Uber’s JUMP subsidiary and its partner Lime, both received permits valid for one year starting from October 15. Lyft failed to score high enough on SFMTA’s evaluation criteria to receive a permit. Toyota backed Skip also failed while Ford owned Spin succeeded.

After startups – many locally based such as Bird – blanketed San Francisco with shared e-scooters in 2018, the city decided to introduce stringent regulations requiring operators to apply for permits or face fines and vehicle removals. The city initially capped the number of operators at two, and their fleet size at 1,000 each. Based on last year’s positive experience, the city decided to double the number of operators, and allow each to gradually expand their fleet to 2,500.

BloombergNEF expects more cities across the world to adopt San Francisco’s regulated approach to shared e-scooter deployment.

Clients can find the full report ‘Micromobility: A Primer’ on The Terminal or on web

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