Your next Lyft in Dallas may be a scooter

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Electric scooters from ride-hailing company Lyft are hitting the streets and sidewalks of Dallas today, the company announced.

The San Francisco-based company is the latest to enter North Texas’ dockless bike and scooter market. It already has scooters in 10 other cities, including Austin and San Antonio. In Dallas, it’ll debut with 350 black and striped purple scooters and increase its fleet, depending on demand, a company spokesperson said.

With Lyft’s scooter rollout, it’s now competing with rival Uber in another way. Uber owns Jump, an electric bike and scooter company that it acquired last year. Customers can search for a nearby bike or scooter in the same app they use to request a Lyft or Uber ride.

Lyft scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute. Uber-owned Jump scooters and bikes are free to unlock and cost 15 cents per minute.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based scooter company Bird, and San Francisco-based bike and scooter company Lime also have scooters in Dallas. Two other companies, Garland-based Vbikes and Los Angeles-based Razor, dropped out of the market earlier this year, said Jared White, a manager in the city’s department of transportation.

Scooter companies adjust the number of two-wheelers in the city based on demand, but they apply for a maximum number as part of their city permit. Bird and Lime are permitted for up to 3,000 scooters. Lyft is permitted to have up to 2,000 scooters. Uber-owned Jump is permitted for up to 2,000 bikes and up to 2,000 scooters.

All but one bike-share company — Uber’s Jump — have left the Dallas market, White said. Lime notified the city that it’s pulling all bikes from the city, White said.

Four additional companies may join the Dallas market soon. Three have applied for permits: Oxnard, Calif.-based Ojo Electric, which would bring up to 100 sit-down scooters that resemble miniature Vespas; Boaz Bikes, which would bring up to 100 electric scooters designed with a seat and with an attached helmet; and Spin, which pulled its bikes out of Dallas and now wants to re-enter the market with up to 200 scooters. One other company, San Antonio-based Blue Duck Scooters, plans to apply soon, White said.

White said he’s glad scooter companies are keeping their fleets small, but he said he expects a scooter shakeout — just like when the bubble burst on bikes.

"All of these companies are proliferating and coming into the market and then they’re going to settle out again," he said. "These companies get bought out. They go out of business. So I’m sure in the coming months this will all change."

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