21 May, 2018FORTUNE.COM
Lyft appears to be joining the electric scooter craze, as the ride-hailing company seeks to compete against rivals moving beyond cars to other modes of shared transportation such as bikes and e-scooters.
The ride-hailing company is looking into running an electric scooter service in San Francisco, The Information reported Sunday. The news outlet found through a public records request that Lyft is planning to seek permits to run the e-scooter service.
Fortune has sent Lyft a request for comment. The article will be updated if the company responds.
San Francisco is at the center of the electric scooter tumult that has erupted in the past several months. Technically, the city doesn’t have laws to regulate small electric scooters giving startups like Bird and Lime an opening to launch their businesses there. But the lack of guidelines has also created havoc in the city.
Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance to establish a regulation and permitting process. The ordinance also gives the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency or Department of Public Works the ability to take action against scooter companies that don’t have a permit.
The SFMTA board has since approved a one-year pilot program that will grant up permits--500 scooters per permit--to five companies. Companies issued permits would pay a $5,000 application fee.
The permit cap sets the stage for existing scooter operators Bird, Lime, and Spin--as well as a host of other newcomers--to battle it out for a chance to operate in the city.