The Atlantic

A Long-Term Solution for Scooter Sharing

San Francisco’s scooters are back, and newly regulated. But is regulation enough to make them work in the long term?
Source: Jeff Chiu / AP

On Monday, after the great scooter wars of the spring and the hotly contested permitting process of the summer, e-scooters will relaunch in San Francisco. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) blessed two companies—Skip and Scoot—of the 12 that applied for a license with the right to operate a pilot program within the city. Starting now, residents and visitors will get to see what a regulated scooter system looks like.

The rollout will be smaller and more controlled than last time, when the scooters were described as a , , and a piece of a “.” One day, no one had seen a scooter on the sidewalk, and within a couple weeks, everyone had. Bird’s CEO even began imagining . The demand and the backlash accelerated in lockstep.

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