Word on the street is that scooters are back, and the scooter share business is about to take off. Ride-sharing kingpin Uber has launched JUMP an electric scooter share business, where you can rent a scooter via the Uber app.
Last spring, Uber quietly moved to Pier 70, near San Francisco’s famed Fisherman’s Wharf. It used to be a longshoreman’s workplace, but today Uber uses the cavernous space to spend hours a week tinkering with self-driving cars.
Now, Uber adds another side to its business, diving into a scooter share business.
“Scooters from Uber? When did this become a thing?” Twelve months ago Uber wouldn’t have messed with scooters. But, things have changed. In fact, two-wheelers are now a tech-industry obsession.
Scooter Tech – Back With A Vengeance
An outfit called Bird operates out of the Santa Monica area. They launched the nation’s first scooter-sharing operation last fall. They aren’t alone, either.
Between Bird and a company called Lime over $100 million has come available through venture capital toward the development of urban scooters for hire.
The scooter startups covered cities with two-wheeled motorized bikes that are locked and unlocked with a smartphone. Get where you’re going and walk away.
Lime and Bird aggressively opened new locations.
They are present in 75 cities, including San Diego, Seattle, and the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Transportation officials responded by passing new rules that require licensing by scooter and bike sharing enterprises.
For sure, something is happening.
The ride-share scooter movement is still in the very early moments of the game. In fact, Uber denies the game is even afoot. However, a company spokesperson agreed to discuss with the press a few of the safety and security measures inherent in a scooter sharing enterprise.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the issues designers struggle with involve keeping them safe from vandalism and even full-on demolition.
Scooters parked in downtown San Francisco were broken in two. Others have experienced vandalism of the gear mechanism or chain drive. Other damage includes keying.
For now, Uber has applied for a license to initiate a scooter-sharing service in both San Francisco and Santa Monica. Long-term, sources tell us that Uber believes it can make a better electric bike/scooter through its collaboration with designers and developers from Jump.
They believe this fact can be a major selling point when the same-city competition gets hot.
Uber, Lyft, et al, know that running a nationwide scooter-sharing business will require cooperation with government agencies. This was a mistake made when ride-sharing became popular.
The companies involved behaved with perceived arrogance to local officials. That can’t happen this time, because the problems with scooters are only beginning to arise and will need collaboration to solve.
Long-term viability may well depend on city officials’ willingness to create scooter lanes on their streets and designating specific parking areas for shared scooters. In some cities that won’t be an easy sell.
Eventually, Uber envisions a unique business extending beyond cars, bikes, or even scooters. A motorized rickshaw is under development by Lime, yet another ride-share outfit. Who among us believes Uber won’t want a piece of that action?
Wherever this movement takes us, one thing appears clear.
There are smart people out there who are convinced that the best way to go a few blocks or a few miles does NOT require a private automobile.
Want to beat Uber to the scooter share business pie?
In order to start your own scooter share business, first, you need scooters of course.
We found these top rated Scooters for adults on Amazon. They come in white, blue or black.
Next, you will need a website. Follow our step by step guide: How to make a website for free.
Then you will need a budget for advertising, to get the word out about your business. You should also do some growth hacking for your new scooter share business.
Growth hacking is when you do your own marketing, to drum up excitement about your startup. Create blog posts, run social media promotions, and generate some local press in your city about your business.
Growth hacking is a free way to generate interest to a new business, and although it doesn’t cost money it does cost time.
For your website, you will need a Privacy page and Terms and Conditions page which includes all of the information that you need to protect yourself legally in terms of website privacy. We recommend that you get the Legal Bundle for this, which was drafted by a lawyer and contains fill-in-the-blank templates for these pages.
You will need to consult with your own legal advisor for information about the local taxes and laws that apply to you when starting a business in your own city. But the general steps above will get you started.
For more business ideas, check out our list of Startup Ideas, and download your free copy of our Business Startup Kit, below.
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