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Scoot, Skip fail to deliver on promises in first e-scooter accountability report

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A man rides a new Skip e-scooter through UN Plaza on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Scoot and Skip pledged helmet lockboxes, low-income programs and more in the applications to The City that helped them earn highly-sought e-scooter pilot program permits.

But in their very first compliance report to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which the agency required after 90 days of permitted operation, those companies revealed they’ve yet to deliver on some of those promises.

“Those were critical promises and commitments made in their original applications. We’re working to ensure their compliance,” said Ben Jose, a spokesperson for the SFMTA.

He added that failing to come into compliance with promises to San Francisco that earned those permits in the first place could lead to dire consequences for the e-scooter companies.

SEE RELATED: Scoot, Skip fail to deliver in first e-scooter accountability report

“If we don’t see substantial progress, that will heavily factor in our decision to allow them more scooters, and our decision at the end of the pilot in how to proceed,” Jose said.

All told, Scoot and Skip rolled back, or failed to substantially meet, a number of promises on their applications.

Skip’s low-income discount program registered just 22 riders, the company wrote in its compliance report. That’s out of 39,000 users who signed up to use the company’s scooters. Scoot did not disclose the number of low-income riders in its discount program in its report or when asked directly about it by the San Francisco Examiner.

Skip also did not update the SFMTA on a promised “community advisory board,” which was one of its key proposals to allow San Franciscans input on the e-scooter program.

And in its application to The City it said its “street team” would place a “premium” on electric or hybrid vehicles, but in its compliance report the company backtracked and said “it was not feasible to implement.

Scoot, on the other hand, wrote in its application to The City that it would have available helmets secured to its rentable e-scooters in a “lockable box.” In its compliance report, however, the company wrote “we continue to look at options for including a helmet on the vehicle but there is no plan to roll out a scooter with helmet box attached in the near future.”

So, ix-nay on the helmets for all.

Scoot also proposed a “monthly Flex Plan” to give an affordable option for more frequent riders who pay a monthly rate, but in its compliance report wrote it had not yet created the plan. “We are still looking at rider retention and user behavior to build an effective plan that adds value to the majority of our riders,” the company wrote.

The companies did have some successes. Scoot implemented a cable lock on its e-scooters after a rash of thefts were reported.

Skip reported it has started “investing heavily in our home city,” including a $20,000 donation to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, $4,000 to sponsor The City’s Sunday Streets program, and $1,000 or less to other programs, like the homeless showers provided by Lava Mae and the People Protected Bike Lanes advocacy group.

Scoot handed out more helmets to its users: 405 to Skip’s 230.

Skip did not comment before press time, but a Scoot spokesperson wrote in a statement “Our 90-day report to the SFMTA reflects our commitment to operating our vehicle fleets at the highest level in San Francisco.”

SF’s legal e-scooters, by the numbers

Oct. 15, 2018 — Scoot and Skip launch in SF

22 — Riders who signed up for Skip’s low-income discount program

39,015 — Drivers Licenses approved by Skip to join its platform

4 — Scoot “Kicks” riders caught driving unsafely and warned by the company

39 — Scoot “Kicks” riders caught parking badly and warned by the company

58 — Self-reported collisions on Skip e-scooters

joe@sfexaminer.com

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