It was only a couple of months ago that dockless, electric scooters seemed to be pegged as the downfall of civilization—or, you know, a potential nuisance and safety hazard for pedestrians on crowded sidewalks and oblivious scooter drivers alike.
But things change, and scooter crackdowns have turned into positive local legislation: In September, the Los Angeles City Council approved a set of rules to regulate dockless bikes and scooters (keep it under 15mph, don’t leave it laying on the sidewalk). Around the same time, Santa Monica kicked off a pilot program that permits four companies to operate scooter rentals in the coastal city: Bird, Lime, Lyft and now Uber.
To kick off its arrival in Santa Monica, Uber will be offering free rides on its Jump scooters and e-bikes through October 7. The ride hailing app’s promotion covers up to 30 minutes per ride and five rides per day; otherwise, regular fares cost $1 for the first five minutes, and 15 cents per minute after that. Don’t think about taking them outside of Santa Monica city limits, though, or you’ll be hit with a $25 fee.
Per city ordinances, Uber will have up to 250 scooters available to rent. Free helmets will be distributed at 1733 Ocean Avenue Monday through Saturday, from noon to 7pm. While this marks the 10th city for Uber’s Jump e-bikes, Santa Monica is the first to offer scooters.
If you plan on taking advantage of the promotion, let us just chime in with a bit of parental advice: Wear a helmet, don’t ride on the sidewalk and make sure to follow all traffic laws.