Getting around San Francisco just got easier, at least if you don't mind a little bit of wind in your face. The Scoot Network and its fleet of electric-powered scooters just announced that it was expanding, adding five new locations for riders around the city for a grand total of 17 Scoot hubs.
What is Scoot, exactly? Think a CitiBike or Zipcar membership but for green-friendly, Vespa-like mopeds. Since launching 16 months ago, Scoot claims its members have treaded over 50,000 miles, and have kept 62,000 pounds of CO2 out of the environment.
After undergoing a basic training session (they don't go over 30 mph, so you don't need an M1 license, apparently), Scoot members use a smartphone app to track down a dock to rent from. Taking a scooter out for a spin will now run you $3 with a basic membership (before it was $5), with an additional $1.50 fee for each half hour after that during the day. (There is also a premium membership tier and a pay-per-rental basis, too, depending on your usage.) You can park it at another Scoot dock and be done with it, or park it on the street if you're running errands.
CEO Michael Keating told Fast Company in an email that Scoot doesn't compete with the transit establishment, per se, but rather wants to complement it. "Our ideal customer is anyone who lives or works in San Francisco and is looking for a fast way to get around town that only costs a dollar more than the bus," said Keating. "Scooting is faster than riding the bus, it's cheaper than taking a cab, and it's a ton more fun than sitting in traffic in your car."
If that sounds like your kind of thing, the bad news is that the Scoot Network is confined to San Francisco for now. But the company says it will begin exploring rollout in other U.S. cities this year.