The ride-hailing giant Uber is looking to get in on the scooter business, the news website Axios reported Thursday.
Scooter companies say the simple vehicles are a cheap, efficient way to provide “last mile” transportation solutions, for trips that are too long to walk but too short to warrant a car ride. In that sense, this move makes sense for Uber — and will put it right up against its archrival Lyft in a burgeoning new market.
Uber confirmed to Axios that the company was applying for a scooter permit in its hometown of San Francisco. The permit process was instituted after thousands of electric scooters descended on San Francisco in April with little to no warning to city officials. Despite the drama, these scooters have won plenty of fans.
With Uber joining the fray, at least seven companies are vying for a maximum of five scooter permits in San Francisco. These include the three companies that have already launched fleets in the city — Bird, LimeBike, and Spin — as well as newcomers, such as Lyft, Skip, and the bike-sharing company Ofo.