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As Lyft becomes 4th scooter operator to enter market, city weighs more regulations

April 25, 2019

A company better known for offering services involving full-size vehicles has become the fourth operator to gain a permit to rent dockless scooters in Indianapolis.

Lyft, the San-Francisco-based ride-sharing company, has plans to deploy as many as 1,200 scooters in Indianapolis after receiving final approval from the city Thursday.

The city’s Department of Business and Neighborhood Services last month approved the third scooter operator: Spin, which is owned by Ford Motor Co. 

Bird and Lime were the first two companies to gain licenses last year. 

Licensees are required to pay $15,000 annually as well as $1 per scooter per day, revenue that the city said will be used to improve bike lanes.

The city also announced Thursday it plans to consider new regulations on scooter companies. The City-County Council first approved regulations for scooters last July.

The Business and Neighborhood Services Board has scheduled a May 10 special meeting to introduce and adopt “several regulations regarding shared mobility operators,” according to the department.

“These regulations are expected to include caps on the number of companies allowed to operate in Indianapolis, caps on the number of scooters allowed, as well as where the companies are allowed to set out the scooters,” according to the city

Details about the proposed regulations are expected to be released April 30.

Lyft, founded in 2012, operates its scooters in about 15 other major U.S. cities, according to its website. A representative for the company did not immediately reply to IBJ’s request for comment.

Lyft's went public in late March with its stock opening at $87.24 per share, up 21 percent from its offering price of $72. Shares closed at $56.34 Thursday.

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