Uber's JUMP has started its adaptive scooter pilot in partnership with San Francisco Bike Rentals. This is part of Uber's permit with the city of San Francisco, which requires all electric scooter operators to pilot adaptive scooter share.
"We’re committed to helping improve access to transportation for everyone in San Francisco and we believe our adaptive scooters will do just that -- especially for people who either don’t need mobility assistance at home, or don’t qualify for home scooter purchase programs, but who still face limited options in public," an Uber spokesperson said.
As part of the pilot, Uber is deploying two types of scooters, both with three wheels. Upon launch, however, just four vehicles will be available. The plan is to monitor response from riders, keep engaging with community organizations and expand the program based on feedback.
"To guide our vehicle selection and service model, we conducted interviews with community members who either manage or participate in adaptive programs across the country," an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. "We also researched international programs that we were pointed to during our interview process."
Initially, however, these adaptive scooters will not be available via the Uber app. That's because, according to Uber's research, customer service and personal assistance are critical for user adoption.
Instead riders will need to reserve the scooters with SF Bike Rentals and pick them up from one of the company's two locations in the city. Once there, SF Bike Rentals will be able to help familiarize riders with their options.
Scooters will cost $0.33/minute unless the rider takes advantage of the low-income plan.