Jun 17, 2018

The big picture: Uber and Lyft's scooter plans in San Francisco

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Uber and Lyft are once again in competition as they have both applied for San Francisco’s limited scooter-sharing permits — and while there are overarching similarities in their plans, there are also some key differences, including picking different scooter manufacturers.

The big picture: In total, 12 companies have applied for five permits, including scooter-centric startups Bird and Lime, original scooter brand Razor, and some lesser-known newcomers in addition to the two ride-hailing giants.

Below are some highlights based on the company’s permit applications, which Axios obtained:

  • Scooters: The company says it plans to initially use a mix of Xiaomi m365 and Ninebot Segway ES2/ES4 scooters to test the different models, eventually planning to move to a uniform fleet.
  • Parking: The company says it will work with local merchants to establish scooter parking areas, and periodically prompt riders to snap and submit a photo of how they parked their scooter to help keep scooters from obstructing roads and sidewalks. It will also use sensors on the scooters and a rider strike policy to enforce good parking behavior and will consider tethering and locks if needed.
  • Charging: Unlike some of the initial scooter sharing startups, Lyft says that its scooter maintenance staff will be company employees, not independent contractors. Scooters will be serviced at Lyft’s facilities.
  • Availability: 5 AM - 8 PM (October through February), 4 AM - 10 PM (March through September).
  • Price: $1 to unlock the scooter, then $0.15 per minute. Riders can reserve scooters for $0.15 per minute, up to 10 minutes. Lyft will also charge a $100 fee for scooters left outside its permitted zone in the city. There will also be programs for low-income and student riders.
  • Other: Lyft says it will donate $1 per scooter per day to help fund more bike lanes, similar to what Bird recently proposed. The company also highlighted other community investment programs it already operates.
Uber, via its Jump subsidiary
  • Scooters: Unlike many other companies using scooters made by Ninebot, Uber seems to have selected scooters manufactured by Fitrider, another Chinese-based supplier.
  • Parking: The company says it wants tap into its UberEats network of local restaurants to establish scooter parking areas and work with the city on creating designated scooter drop-off hubs and street parking. It will also periodically prompt riders to snap and submit a photo of how they parked their scooter to ensure they’re not obstructing sidewalks, and it will use sensors to check that they’ve not been tipped over or left on their side. Its Jump bikes already have locks, and the company plans to develop similar ones for its scooters.
  • Charging: Uber says it’s open to different models of maintenance staff, including “outside operators,” though for now it appears it will use its own company staff.
  • Availability: 24/7
  • Price: $1 to unlock the scooter for 15 minutes, then about $0.07 per minute after. It will also offer price programs for low-income customers. Uber will charge a $25 fee for scooters left outside its operation zone in the city.
  • Other: In a nod to the scooter startups that aggressively deployed their services before the city was able to implement regulations, in its application, Uber noted that “[a]lthough eager to deploy our new product to the streets of San Francisco, we refrained from launching in the unregulated environment to respect the SFMTA’s request for scooter operators to await the formal permitting process.”

The bottom line: It's hard to predict who will clinch one of the five available permits, but one argument both ride-hailing companies can make is that they have years of experience working with cities and managing large-scale operations.

Go deeper: How the e-scooter economy is different from the ride-hail economy.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: Infections number tops 140,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now infected over 142,000 people in the U.S. — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 had killed over 2,400 people in the U.S. by Sunday night. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,000 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 2,600 Sunday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 721,584 — Total deaths: 33,958 — Total recoveries: 149,122.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 142,106 — Total deaths: 2,479 — Total recoveries: 2,686.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health