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JUMP bike launch in Presidio means e-scooters could launch there, too

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A woman rides a Jump Bike along Market Street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Uber-owned JUMP has found a way around a hard cap on its shared, dockless bicycles in San Francisco, by rolling out 50 more of them this week in the Presidio.

And soon, some e-scooter companies may follow suit.

JUMP, which is only allowed to operate 250 bikes within San Francisco, is able to work around that cap due to a legal loophole — San Francisco transportation code doesn’t apply in The Presidio.

And JUMP may not be the last tech-mobility company to take advantage of that loophole, after The Presidio Trust told The Examiner on Friday it anticipates letting scooters roll through its green, tree-lined hills soon.

Only two e-scooter companies out of twelve bidders, Scoot and Skip, won permits in late August to operate in San Francisco.

“We anticipate additional bike and scooter share providers will be available in the future,” the Trust wrote in a fact sheet for the JUMP Bike rollout, which is publicly available on its website.

Bird, Spin, Lime, ofo, Lyft, Hopr (also known as Cyclehop), Uscooter, Jump (which was recently bought by Uber), Ridecell and Razor all applied for permits with The City to rent e-scooters to the public, but were denied.

The Presidio is federal property governed by a presidentially-appointed Trust, essentially a board, and city law is not applicable there. Businesses there don’t pay some local taxes for that reason, numerous news reports have previously revealed, and apparently not all city transportation laws apply.

“Because the Presidio is federal property, they are not subject to our pilot programs for powered scooters and bikes,” confirmed Paul Rose, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which issues permits for e-scooters and shared bikes.

The Presidio Trust would not confirm that scooters would arrive anytime soon. Patrick Hannan, chief communications officer at the Presidio Trust, said e-scooters may be on the horizon.

“For nearly 20 years, we’ve worked to reduce the number of cars in the Presidio to give visitors the best national park experience possible,” Hannan said in a statement. “With more than 7,500,000 visitors annually, we are committed to exploring all possible ways to help park visitors travel safely to and around the Presidio.”

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