Lyft May Be Getting Into the Electric Scooter Sharing Business

May 21, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Electric scooters are becoming more and more synonymous with city transportation, whether you like it or not.

Now, ride-hailing company Lyft is thinking about entering the fray. The Information reports that Lyft is seeking permits to start an electric scooter sharing service in San Francisco.

Popping up throughout the US in cities like San Francisco and Washington, DC, these services offer users the ability to grab a scooter anywhere they see one and drop it off practically anywhere throughout the city. You need a phone to unlock it, and rides cost just a few dollars.

According to emails obtained through public information requests, The Information found that Lyft has been in contact with city officials about starting an e-scooter sharing business.

Other companies already operate dockless electric scooters in San Francisco, like Spin and Lime. Critics of the services say that scooters are too often ridden on side-walks, which endangers pedestrians, while proponents say it offers commuters an easier, and greener, way to get around.

There’s little regulation in San Francisco pertaining to e-scooter companies, but the city did recently establish a regulation and permitting process. The city board approved a pilot program that will issue permits to five companies that allows each group to operate 500 scooters throughout the city. If it wants a permit, Lyft will have to show authorities that it can educate users on how to park scooters without blocking sidewalks and how to attach them to bike racks.

Lyft declined to comment on the story when TPG reached out for comment.

The move by Lyft shows interest in expanding beyond traditional ride-hailing methods of cars —using a scooter or bike can sometimes make more sense than taking a car, and Lyft wants to capitalize on that.

Uber recently acquired electric bike-sharing company, JUMP Bikes that operates a similar model, but offers dockless electric bikes. JUMP’s e-bikes are available in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Sacramento and Washington DC.

The story was updated at 1:30pm EST with Lyft’s comment. 

Featured image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.