Community News

Santa Monica proposes pilot program for dockless vehicles

An undated handout image of the LimeBike scooter share program. REUTERS/LimeBike/Handout

SANTA MONICA —  The City of Santa Monica is looking to clean up and limit the number of dockless vehicles floating around the city.

Getting blindsided back in September when flocks of Birds were dumped randomly around Santa Monica, the city is now working to regulate and restrict the devices from cluttering and overrunning its streets. A pilot program will be proposed that would restrict the total number of dockless vehicles to 1,500 to be split between the three companies. Should the pilot program prove successful the cap would be able to increase upto 2,250.

A post shared by Jeff Tanner (@jeff_tanner) on

However, the restriction on vehicle numbers would not be the only regulation the pilot program presents. The program goes on and requires the companies to meet a minimum standard in education, maintenance, safety, customer care, data sharing and insurance.

The city has struggled to get riders to adhere to the laws in place for the scooters which are run by Bird and Lime currently. According to the city, SMPD has conducted over 623 stops and issued 302 citations from January to March 2018 and 809 stops with 366 citations in the month of May alone. Citations and stops can be made for various reasons including but not limited to underage riding, riding without a helmet, partner riding and disregarding traffic regulations.

But this is not the first time Santa Monica has worked to regulate the scooters, filing a lawsuit against Bird for $300,000 plus concession in regarding its educational outreach and distribution operations. The city soon after enacted a temporary emergency ordinance on the dockless vehicle to enforce vending regulations as well as impounding vehicles that obstruct access or pose an immediate hazard to others, clarifying a $60 impound fee.

The city council will meet on Tuesday, June 12, at City Hall to discuss the proposed pilot program. The closed session begins at 5:30, followed by the open session at 6:30 p.m. The doors will open to the public precisely at 6:30 p.m. and no earlier.

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters. In post photos courtesy of Santa Monica City and Jeff Tanner’s Instagrams.


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