Powered Scooter Share Permit and Pilot Program
2019 Permit Program
The SFMTA released the application for its Powered Scooter Share Permit Program in July 2019, which will take the place of its current Pilot Program set to wrap this coming fall. This program is aligned with our city’s goal to provide numerous reliable transportation choices to move in San Francisco. The newly adopted Powered Scooter Share Permit Program incorporates lessons learned from the 12-month Powered Scooter Share Pilot as well as the City’s 18-month Stationless Bikeshare Permit Program to create a more useful, safe, and equitable citywide program. The application is also accompanied by a series of supporting documents which seek to establish stronger guidance and clearer requirements around key issues such as the distribution of devices, operational sustainability, community engagement processes and data sharing and accountability standards.
The SFMTA expects to issue a limited number of new scooter permits to applicants that meet San Francisco’s high standards for safety, equity and accountability. We anticipate issuing permits in early fall 2019 so that there is no gap in service when the current permits—currently held by operators Scoot and Skip—expire on October 14th. Permits will be effective for no longer than approximately one year, reflecting the rapid pace at which the scooter industry continues to evolve. The Director of Transportation will establish a cap on the number of authorized scooters – anticipated to be between 1,000 and 2,500 scooters per permittee. As of July, 2019, Scoot and Skip are authorized to operate up to 625 and 800 scooters respectively, although actual deployment varies.
2018 to 2019 Pilot Program
In April 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation paving the way for the SFMTA to create a new Pilot Program to regulate Powered Scooter Share. The SFMTA Board of Directors passed its own legislation in May 2018 outlining the scope and scale of this Pilot, and SFMTA staff released the Pilot permit application later that month. The SFMTA’s application process invited proposals that prioritized the city’s concerns around safety, equity and accountability.
On August 30, 2018, the SFMTA announced that after a thorough review of 12 applications and more than 800 pages of proposals received, the agency would offer permits to Scoot and Skip. The SFMTA’s decision is based on the strength of the proposals submitted by the two companies, combined with their experience of owning, operating and maintaining a shared mobility service in the public right-of-way.
The SFMTA issued permits to Scoot and Skip on October 15, 2018, which allowed a maximum of 625 scooters for each company in the first six months. Scoot and Skip had the potential to increase their number of scooters in months seven to 12 to a cap of 2,500 upon meeting certain equity-based criteria.
Scoot and Skip put forth the strongest proposals the SFMTA received. Taken as a whole, their applications demonstrated not only a commitment to meet the terms of the permit, but a high level of capability to operating a safe, equitable and accountable scooter share service. Both companies submitted strong proposals with detailed, unique and innovative approaches that demonstrated the highest level of commitment to solving known challenges and concerns, ranging from public safety and user education to equitable access and collaboration with the city and its diverse communities.
The SFMTA found that no other applications substantially exceeded the agency’s standards for operating a shared scooter pilot program in San Francisco to the extent that Scoot and Skip did.
To provide transparency and insight into the agency’s evaluation and decision-making process, the SFMTA has made public a variety of Pilot-related information and materials on this website. These include the Mid-Pilot Evaluation and policy memo, a detailed policy memo describing the decision to award permits to Scoot and Skip, evaluations for each separate application, a summary table showing ratings for all the applicants across key evaluation criteria, the original applications received and the decision letters sent to the applicants.