The big picture: The future of ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber won't consist of human-driven vehicles but likely, self-driving taxis. To help ease the transition and supplement existing forms of urban transportation, companies are exploring new ways to help people get around town.
Lyft on Thursday launched a scooter-sharing service in Denver, Colorado, that it hopes will complement its existing ridesharing business, help reduce traffic and supplement public transit.
As The Verge highlights, Lyft is launching 350 scooters to start with including 100 in “opportunity zones” which are low-income and / or areas underserved by public transportation. In line with the competition, Lyft will charge $1 to unlock a scooter and 15 cents per minute used.
The publication said they’re manufactured by Xiaomi and feature a range of 15 miles with a top speed of 15 mph. When a Lyft user locates a scooter using the app, they’ll be able to see how much range / battery life is remaining before deciding to unlock it.
Lyft acquired bikeshare operator Motivate in July, signaling its interest in the bike and scooter sharing industry.
Rather than hire third-party contractors, Lyft will have full-time employees on the ground in Denver to recharge scooters and redistribute them around the city. The company is also reportedly considering having users lock scooters to existing bike racks when they’re finished with a ride to address parking issues.
Lyft plans to roll out its scooter program in Santa Monica, California, on September 17.