Uber launches its first electric scooter service in Santa Monica

Lyft, Lime and others have fresh competition.


Uber is ready to fulfill its promise of launching its own electric scooter service. As of October 3rd, commuters in Santa Monica can use the Uber app to reserve Jump scooters for quick jaunts across town. Like some of the competition, you unlock your two-wheeled transport by scanning a QR code on the handlebars. You can't just park them anywhere, though -- Uber is keenly aware of common scooter gripes and has designated parking zones. The prices are familiar at $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute (they're free until October 7th).

The company woudln't say where Jump scooters will be available next, although the option is rolling out in Santa Monica just weeks after Lyft. It wouldn't be shocking to see Jump scooters available in Denver and other cities where rival services are thriving and permits are available.

This isn't the most original move by Uber, but it fits into the company's evolution from a pure ridesharing outfit into a general transportation service that offers a variety of sustainable travel options. It wants to be your go-to service for as many trips as possible, even if you're just swinging by a friend's place. And with competition like Lyft getting into the game, Uber might not have had much choice if it wanted to remain as relevant as its peers.