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Kate Cagle reports what's really two pieces of new from the front line of the scooter wars: one has to do with the city choosing companies for a bike and scooter share pilot, and the other has to do with the response of the companies left out of that contract:
Bird Scooters suddenly shuttered their operations in Santa Monica Monday afternoon in a bold move to save their business here. The local start-up failed to get the endorsement of a key committee for the City’s official electric scooter pilot program launching this September. After flooding the City with scooters over the summer in an attempt to compete, Lime also failed to win the endorsement.
The committee recommended Jump (owned by Uber) and Lyft for contracts to launch e-bike and e-scooters business in the city.
Bird has responded by launching its protest, cutting off operations in the city—and the action does still have a chance to sway policy. Planning Director David Martin, not the committee, will make the final decision about which companies are awarded the contract under the pilot program.
Kate Cagle reported on the details of the pilot program when it was announced earlier this summer.
Laura Newberry also reports on the actions in Santa Monica, focusing more on the protest by Lime and Bird.