Thieves snap up rental scooters in SF
You're listening to the spoken edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. Feves snap up rental scooters. Assaf shared electric scooters are disappearing from city streets in high numbers. As thieves target the portable vehicles in the first two weeks. We lost two hundred vehicles to the theft, which was just shocking said Michael Keating CEO and founder of San Francisco's scoot networks. People were grabbing them all the time. We realized that if we kept losing them at that rate. We wouldn't have any left in response scoot, scaled back its vehicle numbers an expedited its plans to include locks on its two wheelers. San Francisco's skip has also experienced that's but declined to specify how many however, it's vehicles have a wheel lock mechanism. So they cannot be ridden unless they're unlocked with an app scoots to healers can be ridden in manual kick mode without using the app albeit in an unsatisfying experience as they are not designed for that. Their electric Motors require an app unlocked to work both skip and skewed have alarms. Go off. Scooters are moved without being reserved in their apps city sanctioned e scooter rentals started October fifteenth under a pilot program in which scoot and skip each have permission to rent out up to six hundred twenty five scooters scoot started out offering about three hundred scooters but have that to about one hundred fifty a day in recent weeks? Something residents have complained about on social media. We're not trying to hide that Keating said the reason is the fact ramping up more scooters depends on the success of the lock scoot this week will add combination locks and cables to scooters as an interim measure users will get the combination from the app after a scooter is reserved in early December scoot will switch to its long-term solution Bilton electronic locks with thirty two inch cables the smartphone. Apple unlock the device at the end of it ride. The user must lock the scooter to street furniture such as bike rack or pole and snap a photo of it. Skip has been renting its full complement of six hundred twenty five scooters and said it has gotten positive writer feedback. Skip also plans to add built in locks to its fleet. And is now testing them out on about a dozen scooters. In addition to warning thieves, the locks should help keep more of the scooters out of the flow of pedestrian traffic and prevent people from knocking them over. Skip said it's working on new technology to detect win scooters are written on sidewalks, which is prohibited. We want people to learn that when they get to the sidewalk they should pull up the scooter and walk it to the furniture zone said Julie SU skipped chief marketing officer referring to the sidewalk edge. We're scooters are supposed to be parked in March. Three other scooter companies lime bird and spin burst onto the streets in San Francisco. The scooter deluge led to a temporary ban, and then creation of the pilot program. The San Francisco municipal transportation agency, which oversees scooters said the number of complaints is much lower now than in the spring. The agency's three one one line logged three hundred thirty six scooter related complaints from October fifteenth to November fourteenth or eleven point. To a day in the spring. It receives complaints at the rate of forty four point six day, scoot, scooters average, two or three rights day Keating said by contrast, I go chilly were scoot rolled out scooters around the same time sees six to ten rights day per scooter, that's because the vehicles there are concentrated in a central business district while in San Francisco, they're dispersed throughout neighborhoods. He said skipped climbed to say how many rentals at facilitates. But it's pleased with usage sue pan said writers, use them for first mile last mile connections to transit as well as for scenic rides such as along the embarcadero or in Golden Gate park. She said constant theft is clearly not sustainable Keating said he declined to say what scoot pays for its two-wheelers, but industry sources say e scooters are bought wholesale from China for around three hundred dollars scooter thefts and vandalism are issues in many of the hundreds of cities worldwide that have the two-wheelers bird, graveyard, an Instagram account with sixty thousand followers. Chronicles the sometimes brutal ways scooters meet their end such as burning being thrown off buildings are being tossed in the ocean. Caroline said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer, Email see said at SF chronicle dot com. Twitter at sea said.