These Cities Will Track Scooters to Get a Handle on Regulation

It’s moving day for a controversial data standard that has pitted cities against some private transportation companies, like Uber and Lyft, that want to operate on their streets. On Tuesday, 15 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Bogota, Colombia, said they’ve created a nonprofit called the Open Mobility Foundation, devoted to collecting, maintaining, and standardizing information about where shared vehicles—including cars, scooters, jet packs, and bicycles—are parked. The foundation will take control of the Mobility Data Specification, a digital tool created by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. LADOT has used the standard to solicit and organize information about shared scooters: where they’re parked, where they’re traveling, and whether they’re broken or charged. Cities can …

Scooter Startups Are Ditching Gig Workers for Real Employees

In the earliest days of the new scooter-sharing wave, when a company called Bird, run by Uber veterans, showed up in southern California, working in the industry felt a bit like stumbling into the OK Corral. High school students scrapped for the chance to charge or fix scooters for between $10 and $20 a pop. “Mechanics” broke handlebars and wheels so they would be paid to patch them up. “Chargers” hid scooters in their garages until their owners ratcheted up the bounties awarded to catch the strays—then cashed in. Now the startup Spin is taking a different approach to scooter operations, at least in Los Angeles: Instead of contract workers, it's hiring employees to collect, charge, fix, and redeploy its …