New wave of e-scooters in San Francisco brings promise and peril

The technology is still so new the regulators don’t know what to call them. In Los Angeles, they are dockless on-demand personal mobility devices. In Long Beach, shared micro-mobility devices. And, in San Francisco, where they are called powered scooters, more are coming.

After a one-year pilot program overseen by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, four companies with the chirpy names of Scoot, Jump, Lime and Spin deployed a total of 2,500 powered scooters onto city streets on Oct. 15. Their fleets will ramp up to 4,000 by Feb. 15, and if they meet operating goals, they may expand to a combined total of 10,000 within a year, almost five times as many as have been allowed before.