E-Scooter: good and bad news for Uber & Co.


This weekend the American e-scooter segment provided us with exciting news once again. There was good and bad news for the sharing service providers Uber and Lyft and their challengers Bird and Lime.

Let’s start with the bad news

And this news is really bad. On late Thursday, the city of San Francisco transferred the largest e-scooter sharing providers in the USA and granted two smaller start-ups exclusive rights to rent the electric vehicles for one year each. This was reported by the Wall Street Journal in its weekend edition.

The city denied approvals for 10 companies, including current shooting stars Bird Rides Inc. and Lime and Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. The startups Bird and Lime have together raised nearly ]
billion in capital to quickly equip major cities worldwide with scooters. However, in some cities these vehicles for the last mile were ‘let go’ against the will of the supervisory authorities. And it’s firing back at the companies now.

The decision from the tech metropolis is a clear rebuke of the combative strategy of the e-scooter startups. Ultimately, the radical approaches to the introduction of e-scooters were a thorn in the side of the officials.

Scoot and Skip Scooters receive licenses in San Francisco

Instead, San Francisco gave the permits to two more startups, Scoot Networks and Skip Scooters, which together collected less than million in growth capital. Scoot already operates an electric Vespa-like scooter program in the city and a bike share program in Barcelona. Skip relies on electric scooters in Washington, D.C., and Oakland, California.

The good news for Uber and Lyft in Santa Monica

But there was good news from Santa Monica for Uber, Lyft, Bird and Lime. There, the four suppliers received permits for the operation of their scooters. Despite similar criticism of the rude procedure for the introduction of vehicles without permits in recent months, the authority issued the licence there.

In San Francisco, of all places.

Uber then had a special message ready for San Francisco. The transport service provider plans to develop and build its own vehicles in the city of all places where there is no licence to operate the scooters. This is indeed a major change in strategy for Uber. Own vehicles were not part of the program until now. The project is under the patronage of the startup jump, which Uber only took over in April 2018 for around 100 million US dollars.

According to the official announcement, the scooters will be part of the “multimodal transport system” that the company is planning. At Pier 70 in the northeast of the metropolis Uber is not only working on his own scooter, but also on the development of self-propelled cars and flying taxis.

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