Uber has launched its first electric scooters in Santa Monica. They were launched earlier this week in Santa Monica, a month following the city permitted Uber and four more firms to do operations to up to two hundred and fifty shared scooters each for a span of next eighteen months.
Scooters for the very first time were launched without any announcement last year in San Francisco, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Ever since their launch they have spread to numerous cities throughout the United States and have started to appear in Europe and the Middle East too.
However, rather than receiving encouragement from cities, they were subjected to negativity and were cracked down by issuing cease and discontinuing letters or just ordering them off from the streets until new laws are drafted.
Santa Monica was one such city, that formed a comprehensive program that involves billion-dollar start-ups Bird and Lime as well as the Lyft.
The scooters could be reserved via the Uber app and they cost $1 for unlocking and then fifteen cents per minutes to ride. The per minute fees do not get ticked until after the first five minutes of the ride, this is because so that the users could easily locate their reserved scooter.
Customers are instructed to leave their scooters in assigned parking areas at the end of their ride or else face a $25 fine.
Uber is also offering a special promotion in which all scooter rentals in Santa Monica would be free of cost until the 7th of this month.
The scooters are made by Ninebot—a Beijing based parent firm of Segway which sells scooters to Lime, Lyft, Bird and many others.
Scooter rental companies normally pay $300 to $400 for each 25 to 40-pound vehicle.
Uber is also offering the option of “scooter swap”. If a scooter is reserved in the app but then the user finds another one while walking towards their reserved scooter they could swap their reservation for the closer one.
Uber claims to be one of the few ride-hail firms to provide this feature.