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Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

After a year-long pilot program, San Francisco has granted operating permits to 4 scooter companies: Lime, JUMP (owned by Uber), Scoot (owned by Bird), and Spin (owned by Ford). Existing permit holder Skip did not make the cut.

Why it matters: As the home of a number of these scooter companies — and a frequent battleground between the local tech industry and its government — San Francisco's permits have been among the most coveted. And despite an early backlash to the 2-wheeled vehicles from residents and city officials, scooters are here to stay in San Francisco.

  • Among the changes to the permits since the test program: Twice as many companies will be allowed to operate (up from only Scoot and Skip during the test), and while they'll each have 1,000 scooters on the streets, they'll also be able to raise the number to 2,500 if they meet certain requirements.
  • The companies will be able to start operating on Oct. 15.
We respect SFMTA’s process and feedback. We look forward to addressing areas of improvement with SFMTA per their review process and timeline. We’re proud to have helped make the first scooter sharing pilot in San Francisco a success and to see the program expanding in the coming year.
— Skip spokesperson

The big picture: Since first showing up on the streets of San Francisco and other cities in the spring of 2018, scooter companies have faced local complaints, heavy regulations, fundraising roller coasters, and even acquisitions. Still, it remains to be seen how these companies can make their financial math work to build profitable businesses.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with a statement from Skip.

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals, hours from leaving office early Wednesday, hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."