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When you think of electric scooters, what comes to mind? We bet you probably picture a folding kick scooter with griptape, light-up wheels, and a micro kickboard. In other words, a scooter for kids, something like the Razor Pro Scooter or Razor A2 (two best sellers in the category). Even if you do picture an adult using such a scooter, you probably imagine it to be a BMX athlete or stunt scooter rider.
But what if you’re not interested in Razor scooters, green LED light-up folding scooters, or doing scooter tricks? What if you just need a way to get around and would rather not scuff up your shoes from kicking? Adult kick scooters are a reality, and when combined with electric scooter technology, they make getting around easy, fun, and affordable.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at Scoot, one of the companies ushering in the new electric scooter era. We’ll examine how Scoot works, where it’s available, and how you can take your first Scoot ride today.
- What Is Scoot?
- How Does Scoot Work?
- Where Is Scoot Available?
- How Much Does Scoot Cost?
- Scoot Requirements
- How to Sign Up for Scoot
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Scoot?
Scoot is an electric scooter rental company. They offer 2-wheel scooters of both the kick scooter and electric moped variety. They’re notable for being one of only two companies allowed to operate electric scooter rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area (the other one being Skip). The San Francisco Metro Transit Authority (SFMTA) banned other companies like Bird and Lime from operating electric scooters on San Francisco streets after they failed to get proper scooter permits.
Scoot chose to work closely with the SFMTA, creating an electric scooter pilot program and going through the proper permitting process. They’re now allowed to operate a limited number of scooters (625) in full compliance with local laws. Scoot has also placed an extensive emphasis on rider education to ensure that SFMTA won’t ban them because riders are parking their dockless scooters on sidewalks or riding them in the wrong places.
How Does Scoot Work?
If you think Scoot sounds like magic, it’s understandable. You can rent Scoot scooters using a mobile app on your phone. All you have to do is open the app, browse the map for the scooter you want to rent, and then tap on it to unlock it.
You then hop on and begin riding (making sure to put on your helmet first). For electric kick scooters, you operate the vehicle using the throttle (right hand) and handbrake (left hand). To start, place your feet on the board and kick a few times to get yourself moving. Never ride on the sidewalks, and always yield to cars, bicycles, and other vehicles.
For electric mopeds, you’re going to need some instruction before you can ride. Luckily, Scoot offers free introductory classes to all riders. To find a free class, visit Scoot’s Classes page. The class will explain how to safely ride an electric moped, as well as how to properly park the vehicle.
Once you’re done riding, you just park the scooter in any legal spot or in one of Scoot’s garages throughout San Francisco. Use the app to confirm that you’ve finished your ride and parked your scooter correctly. From there, you can get on with your life, knowing that a scooter will be waiting for you the next time you need to get somewhere.
Where Is Scoot Available?
Scoot is currently available in the following cities:
- San Francisco, California
- Barcelona, Spain
- Santiago, Chile
Scoot has a limited presence in America, and this is intentional. They want to perfect their process before moving to other cities. We imagine the main reason for this is that they’re one of the only scooter companies offering electric mopeds for rent.
Most other scooter sharing companies focus on kick scooter rentals, as well as electric bicycles in some cases. Offering electric vehicles like mopeds comes with a new set of challenges both in terms of permits and rider education. However, we think it’s an exciting step, as it allows riders to travel faster and carry more with them while they ride.
In this guide, we’re going to focus on how Scoot works in San Francisco. However, much of the information here will also apply to riders in Barcelona and Santiago.
How Much Does Scoot Cost?
Signing up for Scoot is free. After that, the price of Scoot depends on whether you’re riding a kick scooter or moped. For kick scooters, the pricing is $1 to unlock and $0.15 per minute after that (the same pricing that all other electric scooter companies use).
For electric mopeds, the price is $4 for the first 15 minutes and $0.10 per minute after that. You’ll also get a discount if you park the scooter in a Scoot garage (and pay a bit extra if you park it on the street).
In general, taking a Scoot is cheaper than rideshare, though you should always do the math yourself. A good way to get an estimate of what a rideshare pickup will cost you is to use our free calculator.
Note: The pricing above only applies to residents of San Francisco. Visitors can still use Scoot, but they’ll need to purchase the 2-day pass. It costs $79 and includes unlimited rides for 48 hours.
What requirements do you need to meet to use Scoot? To sign up for Scoot, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Have a clean driving record
- Have a credit or debit card (prepaid cards are not accepted)
In order to ride one of Scoot’s electric mopeds, you’ll also have to take a free in-person class. The class lasts about an hour and shows you how to ride a moped. If you have a motorcycle license, you’re not required to take the class, but you’ll still need to watch Scoot’s online training videos to learn the particulars of how the service works.
How to Sign Up for Scoot
Signing up for Scoot is an easy process.
After that, select your location:
Then, enter the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
Once you’ve entered that, tap “Sign Up”:
Scoot will now ask you if you want to enter a promo code. You can typically find one online or use a friend’s code if you prefer. You can skip this portion if you want, but we recommend entering a code so you can get a discount.
Next, enter your phone number. Scoot will send you a text to verify it:
You’re now set up with the basics of riding a Scoot. To proceed, find a scooter on the map and tap on it. When you do this, you’ll see any remaining requirements you need to meet (such as adding your driver’s license and payment method).
Adding your driver’s license is easy. All you have to do is tap “Continue,” verify that you have a U.S. driver’s license, and then scan your license using your phone’s camera. You’ll also need to take a selfie to verify your identity (this helps Scoot fight fraud).
To add your payment method, tap the menu in the upper lefthand corner.
Then, tap “Payment.”
You can now enter your credit card information.
With all that done, you’re ready to complete orientation (if necessary) and take your first ride. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
To conclude this guide, let’s address some common questions about Scoot:
1. How fast do Scoot vehicles go?
Scoot mopeds have a top speed of 30 mph and have a range of 20–25 miles. Scoot kick scooters go up to 15 mph and have a range of 30 miles. Note that riding up large hills (common in San Francisco) will drain the battery more quickly. Scoot promises their vehicles can handle even the steepest hills, however, so don’t worry about that.
2. Are Scoot vehicles safe?
Yes, they’re quite safe. They have big wheels and a solid construction that makes them easy to maneuver and difficult to tip over. The large wheels are more rugged than those of many other electric scooters.
3. Is Scoot cheaper than owning a car or buying my own electric scooter or moped?
This depends on many factors, and the main one is how often you need to get places and how far you need to go. The low price of Scoot makes it a clear winner for short trips around town, especially since parking is less of a hassle than with a car.
However, Scoot isn’t practical for long-distance trips. You’re not allowed to take them across the bridge out of San Francisco, for instance, so you’ll need to use a car or take Uber or Lyft if you want to hop over to Oakland.
4. When is Scoot coming to my city?
While Scoot is only in a couple cities at the moment, they are looking for suggestions of where to go next. Fill out this form to tell Scoot why they should come to your city.
5. Why don’t I need a motorcycle license to ride Scoot mopeds?
Because Scoot mopeds only go up to 30 mph, they don’t have the same licensing requirements as actual motorcycles (which can go as fast as cars). The extra speed compared to a scooter, however, is why you have to take a free class before riding.
Start Riding Scoot Today
We hope this guide has shown you all that’s possible with Scoot. Note that Scoot is just one of many electric scooter rental options available. If you live in San Francisco, then your other option is Skip. If you’re in other major U.S. cities, then you have many other options. A few of our favorites include JUMP, Spin, Lime, and Bird.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.