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Scoobi launches scooter service in Pittsburgh

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 3:21 p.m.

Scoobi launched its fleet of scooters over the weekend in a few neighborhoods across Pittsburgh.

Mike Moran, founder and CEO of Scoobi, said the company had a successful opening weekend with no crashes.

The scooters are available in Downtown, the Hill District, Downtown and parts of the South Side, Squirrel Hill, Oakland and Lawrenceville. A ride costs $5 for the first 15 minutes and 25 cents a minute after that.

Moran worked with the Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure and Pittsburgh Parking Authority to secure a permit allowing the scooters to be parked in an metered space for free. The scooters can go up to 34 miles on a charge. Charging stations will be located around the city, likely in parking garages.

Riders don’t need a motorcycle endorsement to ride the scooters. A regular driver’s license will do. The scooter’s trunk has two helmets inside. State law doesn’t require riders to wear a helmet, but Moran’s insurance does.

Moran, a Fox Chapel Area Schools graduate, started Scoobi in Pittsburgh as an alternative to bike shares and ride-share services like Lyft and Uber. Scoobi has a fleet of 100 GenZe 2.0 scooters. The scooters are made in Ann Arbor, Mich., by Mahindra, an Indian company.

People can find, pay for, unlock and start the scooters using an app on their smartphones. Once riders find a scooter, they can hop on, ride it where they need to go, park it and leave it for the next person to use. Scooters parked outside Scoobi’s service area will result in a $50 fine.

A few customers were confused by the app on the opening weekend, Moran said.

A technician will roam the city streets each night swapping out dead and low batteries and taking scooters in for maintenance.

This story has been updated with corrected price information.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Aaron at 412-336-8448, or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

A map showing Scoobi’s coverage area.
A map showing Scoobi’s coverage area.
Trib tech reporter Aaron Aupperlee demos a scooter from Scoobi in Shadyside in June 2018.
Trib tech reporter Aaron Aupperlee demos a scooter from Scoobi in Shadyside in June 2018.
Mike Moran, founder and CEO of Scoobi, takes a scooter for a spin in Shadyside in June 2018.
Mike Moran, founder and CEO of Scoobi, takes a scooter for a spin in Shadyside in June 2018.
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