Lyft is introducing its first scooter model built specifically for scooter sharing. It’s meant to be more durable, with a longer battery life and bike-like brakes. The scooters are available in Denver, the first place Lyft rolled out its scooters last year.
The new hand brake, on the left handlebar, is much like the ones on bikes, and will stop both wheels if pulled. The new frame, made by Segway, doesn’t fold, which Lyft says makes it sturdier; the company also said the scooter’s base is 20 percent wider, clocking in at 6.2 inches.The new batteries will hold a charge for about 35 to 40 miles.
Earlier this week, Uber also announced a more-rugged scooter at its Elevate conference, and will introduce it in the US on June 24th. The industry overall is trying to create tougher scooters — because scooter-sharing is bleeding money just like Uber and Lyft’s ride-hailing businesses. Most scooter companies are finding manufacturers who will design scooters that are durable enough for constant use, possibly improving the unit economics. No one yet knows if the tougher scooters will make scooter-sharing profitable, so Lyft’s and Uber’s offerings are likely to be watched closely by industry insiders.
Three days ago, Lyft rebranded its bike sharing program. Once known as Ford GoBike, they are now called Bay Wheels, and Lyft is suing San Francisco to block other bikeshare options in the city. (Lyft previously sued New York City to block its minimum wage requirements; the company lost.)
Both Lyft’s bikes and the scooters will have pink wheels.
Update June 14, 12:23PM ET: Lyft corrected itself on number of brakes (one, not two), and provided more details on how long the scooter’s charge would last and how thick the base is.