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The bare-knuckles tactics Uber used to get its way with regulators are not going to work for scooter startups — cities have the upper hand this time.

It wasn’t only consumers who were surprised — some pleasantly so, others not so much. Local governments, too, were forced to scramble to understand and regulate this yet-unseen form of shared transportation.

The startups that put them there, Bird and Lime, employed a tried-and-true playbook, written a few years back by fast-growing ride-hail firms Uber and Lyft, as well as Airbnb: Launch your service in a city without permission, become wildly popular with consumers and then ask for forgiveness when regulators try to throw you out. When that doesn’t work, send in your adoring customers to fight for it. Oh, and a handful of lobbyists. Don’t forget the lobbyists.

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