Jump on an electric scooter in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, drive it over to the Caltrain station on your way to work in the South Bay, and just leave it there. That’s the idea behind the new one-way trip feature, launched on Friday by the Zipcar of electric scooters, startup Scoot Networks. The service makes Scoot Networks one of the only vehicle sharing companies out there to offer such one-way trips.
One of the ideas behind the option is to provide Scoot Networks customers, many of whom are commuters, with a solution to the “last mile” of their commute. That’s the pesky problem of getting people to public transportation from their homes, when it’s a little too far to walk — sometimes people bike, own a motorcycle or scooter and park it there, drive a car to a parking lot of a public transportation spot, or even taxi.
For now, Scoot Networks is only offering one route to test out the feature — specifically between a parking area on 21st St. & Valencia St. and a garage next to the Caltrain at 4th St. & Townsend St. But if customers really like this option, expect to see more one-way routes launched this year.
Some car sharing and bike sharing networks throughout the world provide this one-way feature, but most of the car sharing networks in the U.S. (and San Francisco) like Zipcar and City Car Share don’t provide one-way trips. Could the one-way feature be enough to bring in new users to the electric scooter sharing service, launched just back in September?
Scoot Networks raised a $550,000 seed round last year and will be looking to raise a series A round this year. The startup had around 50 electric scooters parked around neighborhoods in San Francisco at launched time in September.
Check out this video interview with the Scoot Networks folks: