San Francisco Transportation Officials Announce New Phase of Scooter Permit Program

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Wednesday announced it will start the second phase of its Powered Scooter Share Permit Program next month, extending permits to four operators.

The program, which started last year and saw SFMTA award permits to just two companies, will now allow up to 4,000 scooters on city streets, doubling service from the previous phase.

The new phase, which starts on Oct. 15, will also require that the permittees receive prescribed service areas, extending the scooter network to neighborhoods like the Bayview, Excelsior, Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset.

According to the requirement, no more than 40 percent of any fleet would be allowed in the downtown or South of Market neighborhoods, SFMTA officials said.

The new permittees are also required to provide multi-lingual and culturally sensitive outreach to make access to scooters more equitable. The permittees must also develop programs focused on local hiring, safety, culture and arts and work with small businesses, according to the SFMTA.

The four new scooter permittees include Scoot, Spin, Lime and Jump.

During the first phase of the program last year, the SFMTA selected just two applicants, Scoot and Skip, out of 12.

San Francisco-based Lime, which was not selected during the first phase, filed an appeal last year over the denial. That appeal, however, was eventually denied by a judge.

Following Wednesday's announcement, Lime co-founder and CEO Brad Bao released a statement.

"We're thrilled to start serving our hometown next month and thank Mayor (London) Breed, the SFMTA, the Board of Supervisors, and the entire community for extending us this opportunity.

"As the global leader in micromobility, serving over 120 cities in over 30 countries, we're excited to serve residents and visitors in every district, from the Bayview to Ocean Beach, and the Embarcadero to the OMI. Our goal is to provide a safe, equitable and affordable transportation option across the entire city, and help San Francisco lead the way in micromobility worldwide."

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