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Uber and Lyft may soon clash over e-scooters

Of late, there has been a crazy surge in interest surrounding electric scooters, which are often referred to as the future of transport. And recent applications filed at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency reveal that two major rivals, Uber and Lyft, may soon dabble with e-scooters too.

For the upcoming e-scooter pilot program at San Francisco, there are entries from 12 companies including ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft, as well as scooter manufacturer Razor. Both Uber and Lyft will vie for permits along with the other existing key players such as Lime, Bird, and Spin.

And recent applications filed at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency reveal that two major rivals, Uber and Lyft, may soon dabble with e-scooters too.

This new permit process was established after several dockless e-bikes popped up in San Francisco. Apart from disrupting traffic, the e-bikes posed greater risk to pedestrians. The controversies had forced the city to set up permit process. Based on the new guidelines, only five companies will be given permission to operate only 500 e-bikes in the city. Until then authorities have put a temporary ban on all electric scooters in the city.

This clearly explains why Uber recently snapped the bike-sharing startup JUMP, which has 200 bikes in operation. It was at the recent Recode’s Code Conference held at Southern California, that Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive of Uber, had hinted about this plan. He said that in the future, the company could become a platform on which, bikes or even buses could operate. Lyft, on the other hand, has teamed up with Baltimore’s bike sharing program in Maryland.

Due to the growing popularity of e-bikes, investors are also pouring huge amounts of money into these companies. A few weeks back, Bird had raised a massive funding, valuing the startup at $1 billion.

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