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Uber and Lyft looking to start offering electric scooter services

Tyrone Stewart

UberRide hailing rivals Uber and Lyft are both reportedly eyeing the idea of potentially adding electric scooters to services – after both applying for permits to operate the vehicles in San Francisco – according to The Verge.

Lyft and Uber represent just two of the 12 firms that have applied for permits to operate motorised scooters in San Francisco.

A permit would allow the companies to take part in a 12-month test program on the streets of San Francisco, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. However, only five of the applicants will be granted a permit by the city, with a decision expected by the end of the month.

Other firms vying for permits include Spin, LimeBike, Bird, Razor, Scoot, Ofo, Waybots, CycleHop, Ridecell, and USSCooter.

For Uber, the move comes shortly after it revealed that it is looking to launch its Jump electric bike rental service in Europe, starting with Berlin, Germany. Uber acquired Jump in April and would launch its scooter service under the subsidiary.

On the other hand, Lyft is yet to offer bike services but is said to have agreed to acquire Motivate, which operates services such as CitiBike in New York and Ford GoBike in San Francisco. The move will reportedly cost Lyft $250m or more but will provide it with a significant foothold in the fast-growing bike sharing market.