Electric scooter version of Zipcar hits San Francisco
San Francisco’s hipsters are about to get motorized. Scoot Networks, an electric scooter rental system similar to Zipcar, recently launched in the Bay Area.
The system, which is being rolled out to San Francisco-based companies for private fleets, lets users locate nearby scooters with their smartphone and claim the one they want (as with Zipcar, each scooter lives at a certain location). After it’s docked into the scooter, the phone unlocks the vehicle and acts like a virtual dashboard, providing a map as well as information on speed and range.
The electric scooters can reach speeds of 30 mph and can cruise 20 to 30 miles before they need to be returned to parking spots to recharge. That’s enough to get through all of the Mission District’s street art and taquerias, with mileage to spare for pursuing other hipster-y adventures (picking up mustache wax?). Even better, a monthly Scoot membership costs only slightly more than a monthly Muni pass, and one-time rentals rival typical cab fares.
Scoot Networks is catering exclusively to the corporate set for now, but the company will soon offer scooters for public use at public transit stops throughout the city. Scoot plans to have hundreds of scooters available to San Franciscans by the end of the year, and, if all goes well in the Bay Area, deploy fleets of scooters to cities across America.