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Powered Scooter Share Permit Application 2021

Effective Date
Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 9:00am to Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - 5:00pm

2021 Scooter Share Permit Issuance

The SFMTA has opened applications for the next round of Powered Scooter Share permits. The current permits for operators expire in June 2021 and the next round will go into effect as soon as the current permits expire.

The SFMTA expects to issue approximately three scooter permits to applicants that meet San Francisco’s high standards for safety, equity and accountability. We anticipate announcing successful applicants in spring 2021, and the new permits will take effect on July 1, 2021.

New permits will be effective for an approximately one-year term, with the option to extend for another year at the discretion of the SFMTA. We will establish a cap on the number of authorized scooters – anticipated to initially be between 1,000 and 2,500 scooters per permittee. As of February 2021, the three current permittees are allowed to operate the following numbers of scooters

  • Lime up to 2,000
  • Spin up to 2,000
  • Scoot up to 1,000

About the Application

All interested operators are encouraged to apply by the final deadline on March 31, 2021. Candidates are encouraged to submit clarifying questions in writing to ScooterShare@SFMTA.com by 12 p.m. on March 9th, which will be addressed in a Question and Answer Session on March 12th. Applications will be evaluated against a standardized evaluation scorecard to determine the strongest proposals.

The Permit Application for the SFMTA’s Powered Scooter Share Permit Program and accompanying guidance documents can be found on the SFMTA websiteSee blog post for more information.

2021 Scooter Share Permit Survey and Community Engagement

The SFMTA hosted an online survey beginning in December 2020 through the end of January 2021 to solicit feedback from the community to help staff refine the next round of permit requirements. The survey was available in English, Chinese, Russian and Spanish, and included questions regarding demographics, community engagement, mode choice, and the adaptive program. Full details on the survey can be found in the Report for 2021 Scooter Share Permit Issuance.

The survey results indicated that stakeholders preferred to have regular SFMTA-facilitated meetings with scooter permittees open to the public was the preferred community engagement method, followed by continuous public online forums  Given the clear interest in more transparency, SFMTA now posts dashboards providing the public with information about scooter trip levels, complaints and enforcement activities.

As part of the new permit term, SFMTA will look closely at how applicants support existing community structures of advocacy and empowerment, while simultaneously working toward mobility justice goals to ensure equitable access, particularly for communities that have not been historically well-served.

Survey Findings

The SFMTA’s analysis of survey results yielded several interesting findings.

  • For example, 22 percent of all scooter user survey respondents indicated that they would have driven their private vehicle or taken Uber of Lyft on their last trip had a scooter not been available.
  • Trips have also shifted from public transit to scooters, which can be considered in a positive light in the current pandemic context, as 25 percent of respondents would have taken their most recent trip on public transit if the scooter service was not available.
  • A majority of survey respondents reported using scooters because of their convenience, 23 percent of scooter trips were taken to or from public transit, and 72 percent used a scooter on their most recent trip for work, school, or shopping.

Adaptive Scooter Program

Equity and disability access are two cornerstones of the SFMTA’s Guiding Principles for Emerging Mobility Services. This is one reason the SFMTA required an adaptive pilot program to expand access to riders with disabilities, and the new permit will require that adaptive scooters are a permanent fixture. In the permanent program, adaptive devices must comprise at least 5 percent of the fleet and they must be available through the company’s mobile application. New adaptive scooter requirements were developed with input from the disability community, and the survey responses helped identify which features of an adaptive scooter are most useful. Updated metrics on tracking and reporting will also be required.

Links for information about the current permittees’ adaptive scooter programs:

Lime

Spin

Scoot