The West Hollywood City Council is expected at its Monday meeting to give final approval to a ban on making dockless electric scooters available for rent in WeHo. It also is likely to approve a fine on companies whose scooters are left on the city’s sidewalks, which would range from $250 for a first offense to $850 for a third offense.
The decision to ban shared dockless electric scooters has sparked a big debate as to whether the ban should be implemented at all and, if it’s not, how the city could regulate the use and presence of those small vehicles to keep the riders from causing accidents or blocking city sidewalks. Advocates for those scooters, and representatives of dockless scooter rental companies such as Bird and Lime, are likely to show up at Monday’s Council meeting to continue the debate.
Here’s a summary of what some other California cities have done in recent months to address some of these issues:
Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee has proposed guidelines that would allow dockless electric scooters to be operated anywhere in the city. Each scooter company would be limited to providing no more than 3,000 scooters within Los Angeles. However, there are several ways a company could increase that limit. It could put an additional 2,500 scooters in low income areas in Los Angeles and an additional 5,000 in similar areas in the San Fernando Valley. If each scooter gets at least three rides a day and no rules are broken, the city’s Department of Transportation every three months can allow a company to add up to 5,000 more scooters. The Transportation Committee proposal must be approved by the full City Council.
Santa Monica. The City Council adopted a a 16-month pilot program in which four companies would be authorized to distribute scooters on the streets. Each company would pay an application fee of $25,000 and a fee of $130 per scooter.
The Council decided not to put a cap on the number of scooters, responding to arguments that the success of the scooter program depends on their availability across the city and that the market ultimately will determine how many scooters are available for rent. The companies participating in the pilot program must share data about the scooters’ use with the city and develop pickup and drop off zones.
San Francisco. San Francisco plans to implement a 12-month pilot program that would allow five companies to obtain permits to offer dockless electric scooters. Initially only 1,250 could be available across the city. After six months, that limit would increase to 2,500. Each of the five companies would have to pay $25,000 plus a $5,000 application fee. Each company also must contribute to $10,000 to fund that would cover the cost of implementing the program. The program has been approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and now must be approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
West Hollywood’s Public Works and Planning and Development Services departments in June proposed a similar six-month proposed pilot project that would have allowed a maximum of three companies to each locate up to 50 scooters within West Hollywood. The companies would have been required to share ridership data with the city, which would have put restrictions on hours of operation and location of the scooters. That proposal was rejected in a four to one vote, with Councilmember John D’Amico supporting it.
The City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. on July 9 at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica. Parking is free in the five-story structure behind the City Council Chambers with a ticket validated in the lobby.
Valued at $2 billion. Clearly people like these. Get on board. Remember when you took a cab before Uber? Accept the future!
Many folks always like things that have no real responsibility attached.
Although driving and ownership of personal vehicles have declined, traffic issues have been exacerbated exponentially primarily as a result of Uber and similar companies that also don’t operate with much responsibility. There are more cars on than road than ever. Many statistics will confirm this.
Bird, the scooter company is now valued at $2B and is the rage in Paris.
Why aren’t we giving this a chance?
And when will young people start running for city council?
James Duke Mason is only 26, and not the first young person to run for City Council, or be on it. John Heilman has been there so long that he might even have been younger than Mason when he was elected.
Lindsey Horvath is on the Council, and only 35 or 36.
I have yet to see a mature adult riding one of these scooters. Some silly looking 50 year olds, yes, but no adults.
Just fine these fools to the maximum for not wearing helmets, and the “freedom” and joy of the scooter will be limited.
Well ageism isn’t the problem. Stupidity is.
Get these scooters OFF OF THE SIDEWALK. I have taken pics of them parked in the middle of the sidewalk, pics of either owners or employees teaching people how to ride them , on Santa Monica blvd. sidewalks, and Kings Road sidewalks. I have had to move them out of my way to walk. The city should confiscate the scooters that are parked mid sidewalk, and ticket people riding them on the sidewalks. They are fun to use yes, but in the street….NOT THE SIDEWALK. An aggressive campaign against sidewalk use might help. Right now we have on our sidewalks—-bikes—skateboards–one… Read more »
Cars aren’t dangerous?
Im hoping we dont allow cars on the sidewalks either.
Jimmy, you are absolutely correct. But I advocate actually enforcing our laws. And these laws just don’t apply to the companies, they apply to the people riding these things. Whether they are rented or not. They also apply to people riding their bicycles on the sidewalk where it is unlawful, people texting and driving, people unlawfully riding their bicycles and not obeying traffic laws, etc.
A 2 THE MEN!
Right on Jimmy. SideWALKS are for WALKING. Period. I’m hoping that council and public safety can come up with a clear policy in that the only motorized travel modes on sidewalks would be mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs. I’m not only seeing scooters zipping their way around and through pedestrians on sidewalks, but also the motorized unicycles–2 of them passed me on the sidewalk by Gelson’s..and I was driving the speed limit on the sidewalk.
No motorized transport methods on the sideWALKS
King’s road? Meh. That’s a poor person street, which is who I suspect is against these. Then let’s allow them west of La Cienega. That’s really the only part of the city that matters
SCOOTERS NO NO NO-watching the one lady using sidewalk scared and falling. NO. how many different items can ride on the side walk-Bikes, Skateboards, Motorized Skateboards, UniWheels and Now Scooters with no rules no sense to say ON your left or On your right. There is a three foot law for all bicycles on the street,Yes? How many Items do I need to avoid behind me while walking by dog. We have been hit but several in four years while walking. So why do Motorized items have to use the sidewalk. I WALK FROM LA CIENGA TO FAIRFAX OR LA… Read more »
I am a scooter user & wanted to correct a few misunderstandings: -Yes, scooters are more fun than bikes. -Yes, scooters are a viable form of transportation & I am a living example of a user who has used the scooter to reduce car trips. (I must travel downtown to LA to Santa Monica via Expo Line (~40 min) then transfer to a bus (~20min) to get to my office. On most days, the bus is too long of a wait (10+ minutes) so I order an uber/lyft that arrives just before the & gets me to my office in… Read more »
Tapping my foot…..
I don’t use these to commute to work, but I am a responsible adult, who uses them correctly. And I agree with everything you said. This was very well-stated. I do believe there are people who oppose these just for the fear of any kind of change, and I do believe four Coucil members are taking the wrong tactic by banning them, instead of just asking our law enforcement to actually enforce the law. That said, I believe that Monday’s proposal will be adopted, and I’m really curious to know how this will work, when West Hollywood is surrounded by… Read more »
Seems like it would be easier to live in SM. Who commutes to the beach? This is not how you want to spend your life I’ll bet. I know you are a smart guy but think about this!
I have been a strong supporter of the scooters, it is working in every surrounding city, including Beverly Hills. The city should work with these companies, and address the concerns. It is a very viable transportation option, that is less expensive than taking a car or a rented city bike. As I have said on previous threads, in live in Boys Town, and there is no mad rush of scooters over running the sidewalks, and they are not thrown in front of doorways or in the middle of the sidewalk. If this is the case in one of the highest… Read more »
Strict regulations and fines for ignoring or breaking the law should do the trick.
SF impounded some scooters. There are many more details not mentioned here.
Interesting way to create a buzz, though, by supplying something and hoping for increased demand.
NO TO THE SCOOTERS Unless these companies come up with dedicated areas that the scooters must be dropped off at our you have to pay a penalty. The scooters are everywhere and it is huge pain.
Yes to scooters. Can’t stop progress. And shouldn’t.
What’s within the Nazi’s always trying to stop new transportation projects?