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Electric Scooters Return to San Francisco in Pilot Program 2018

Hundreds of dockless electric scooters have been re-introduced onto San Francisco’s streets early on October 15, 2018. These e-scooters are a part of a yearlong pilot program designed to assess the safety of e-scooters in the Golden City.

For this pilot program, the SFMTA requested applications to figure out which e-scooter companies would be the best fit for the city. According to SFMTA workers, the only two companies that met their high standards were local startups Skip and Scoot.

Not only did Skip and Scoot promise to share safety data directly with the SFMTA, they also said they would work to promote public safety standards through educational campaigns. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle states that these companies are also working on making e-scooters more affordable for economically underprivileged citizens.

San Francisco got its first taste of e-scooters back in March when various companies started dropping their e-scooters throughout the city. While many locals loved the convenience of these devices, many others complained of safety issues.

Not only were e-scooter users illegally riding on the sidewalks, they were also parking their vehicles in hazardous locations. The situation got so bad that city officials formally banned all e-scooters in June as transportation leaders put together this application-based pilot program.

As a part of this program, Skip and Scoot are allowed to place 625 e-scooters each throughout SF. Depending on how well the study goes, SFMTA may allow 625 more from both companies before the program is finished.

Early on Monday workers from both of these companies dropped off their sharable e-scooters in numerous locations including South of Market, Bayview, and the Financial District. Locals will also find many e-scooters parked in the Golden Gate Park as well as Excelsior.

To improve safety standards in the city, both Scoot and Skip have placed different numbers on all of their e-scooters. Thanks to these numbers, employees at both companies will have an easier time tracking down customers who repeatedly practice unsafe driving.

All of these e-scooters also have GPS sensors that can be used to track where e-scooters are parked and when they have tipped over. Skip said it routinely sends scouts to remove e-scooters that have been improperly parked. Both companies urge locals to send them texts whenever they see e-scooters parked in hazardous locations.

As mentioned above, Scoot and Skip are also sponsoring many public safety events designed to remind all e-scooter users to avoid riding on sidewalks and encourage them to always wear helmets.

Although adults won’t be legally required to wear helmets while riding e-scooters at the start of 2019, public safety officials strongly recommend wearing a DOT-approved helmet at all times.

For a quick reference list of the rules all e-scooter users must follow, please check out this article published by the SFMTA. You could also learn more about Scoot and Skip by visiting their official websites at http://skipscooters.com/ and http://scoot.co/san-francisco/, respectively.