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Lime and Spin scooters returning to SF streets

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After a year-long pilot program, existing permit holder Skip failed to make the cut

A man and woman, both wearing helmets, each riding their own electronic scooter.
Lime’s new G3 scooters riding along Lake Merritt in Oakland.
Photos courtesy of Lime

They’re back.

After a year-long pilot program—and after fights with city hall and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)—Lime and Spin, two of the original electronic scooters companies to grace San Francisco streets (and, hrumph, sidewalks) will return to the city.

It’s part of the SFMTA’s recently unveiled Powered Scooter Program, which will allow Lime, Spin (owned by Ford), and Jump (owned by Uber) to join e-scooter company Scoot (owed by Bird) and rent two-wheeled devices in San Francisco.

“We’re thrilled to start serving our hometown next month, and thank Mayor Breed, the SFMTA, the Board of Supervisors, and the entire community for extending us this opportunity,” said Lime cofounder and CEO Brad Bao in a press release. “Our goal is to provide a safe, equitable and affordable transportation option across the entire city, and help San Francisco lead the way in micromobilty worldwide.”

Skip, which currently operates e-scooters in the city, didn’t make the cut

According to the San Francisco Examiner, “[E]ach company will be allowed to rent out 1,000 scooters,” but can “boost that number to 2,500 should they meet certain goals laid out by the SFMTA.”

Expect to see the new scooters hits the streets by October 15.

SFMTA temporarily banned Lime, Spin, and Bird from operating in San Francisco after the start-up companies unleashed their devices on city sidewalks without warning.

“Between October 15, 2018 and February 28, 2019, SFMTA received 624 complaints of improperly parked scooters,” according to the transit agency’s Powered Scooter Share Mid-Pilot Evaluation report, a signification drop to the nearly 2,000 complaints it received during a two-month period in spring 2018.

In an effort to help quash future friction between SF pedestrians and Silicon Valley hackery, SFMTA will hold a “mobility permit harmonization” community forum tonight from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 1 South Van Ness Avenue on the second-floor atrium. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.