Scoot, Lime, and Jump are choosing to stop all operations in San Francisco over the COVID-19 pandemic. Of SF’s four e-scooter rental companies, only Ford Motor Company-owned Spin continues to run, promising to clean their scooters more often to provide "a safe ride."
With BART at a near standstill, losing nearly 90 percent of its ridership over the past week according to SFGate, concerns over the coronavirus have all but shut down San Francisco’s meme-able e-scooter scene as well.
Loving cities means protecting them too.— Lime (@limebike) March 18, 2020
Visit our blog to find the most updated list of markets where we’re winding down and pausing our service in to reflect public health guidance.
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The Examiner reported that three SF electric scooter rental companies — Lime, Scoot, and Uber-owned Jump — will pause all local operations; Lime has also suspended most of its rental programs throughout the globe, while Scoot chose to temporarily end its moped services as well. Given that the novel virus can live on surfaces for a few days, it seems like an appropriate measure to take. Spin, however, isn’t budging.
They’re still operating in the seven-by-seven, unchanged. And they have City support to do just that.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) told "operators" in an email, per the Examiner's Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, that “shared mobility operators,” which includes e-bike and e-scooter companies, are considered “essential services.” Therefore, even under the current shelter-in-place order, Spin has City-backed support to remain operational.
As a shared service that communities around the country rely on for daily transportation, the health and wellness of all of our employees and riders are always at the top of our minds. Here's how Spin is working to provide a safe ride during COVID-19: https://t.co/yksxXpTdzB— Spin (@ridespin) March 16, 2020
SFMTA in that same email noted too that they’re waiving certain obligations e-scooter companies must follow. Like, for example, having to maintain certain levels of service: “It is OK if an operator decides to suspend service during the [COVID-19 pandemic].”
To quell anxieties regarding sanitation practices, Spin Senior Policy Council Nima Rahimi announced that to keep riders from contracting the disease, the company has increased the number of times its e-scooters are cleaned throughout the day. The company sent out a tweet that links to a company-published blog post on how Spin intends to keep providing renters with "a safe ride."
Though, it still probably wouldn’t hurt to stroke your Spin scoot with an antibacterial wipe before riding around an almost motionless downtown.
Image: Wikimedia Commons