Bay Area cities such as San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland could end up being taken to the bank by scooter victims. The cheap rides are eco-friendly and inexpensive, but they are costly in terms of public safety. It’s a perfect storm from a liability standpoint.

Rental outfits are springing up like weeds to accommodate the demand for easy short-term transportation. The return on investment makes two-wheeling an appealing business opportunity. When San Francisco imposed a scooter moratorium commencing on June 4, it anticipated a quick permit review process. The original three-applicant pool quickly expanded to 12 candidates, pushing the scooter launch date out to sometime in August.