E-Scooters and E-Bikes Will Be Back on WeHo Streets Soon

Electric scooters are about to return to the streets of West Hollywood, joined by electric bicycles. Tuesday night, the West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved a pilot program allowing three vendors to rent the vehicles in the city.

Bird and Lime will offer e-scooters in the city while Wheels, a West Hollywood-based company, will offer e-bicycles. Each company will have 100 of their vehicles available for rent in the city as part of an 18-month pilot program.

This new “dockless mobility” program has been in the planning stages for over a year, but was delayed when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Initially, the City Council was only interested in considering electric bikes as part of the program, but decided to add the e-scooters.

The Council noted there has been strong demand for the scooters among residents, especially for first mile/last mile transport devices. Newly elected Councilmember John Erickson reported while he was campaigning for office, residents routinely requested getting the scooters back.

The city’s original bicycle rental program with WeHo Pedals, offering a regular pedal bicycle for rent, was started in summer 2016. However, the city canceled the program in late 2018 when it proved to be a money-losing venture.

E-scooters first appeared in the city back in March 2018, without any advance notice to or approval from the city. That led the City Council to ban the rental of the e-scooters in the city, especially after problems arose with riders leaving the scooters on the sidewalks or anywhere else they wanted.

However, the e-scooters were readily available for rent in adjacent areas of Los Angeles, so people could still easily ride them in West Hollywood.

Eventually, technical problems and supply issues caused the scooter companies to withdraw many of their e-scooters from the area. However, those problems seem to now be resolved.

The city will establish corrals along major streets for renting and returning the bikes and scooters. It is unclear how the city will handle abandoned e-bikes and e-scooters that are not returned to the corrals.

Even though the pilot program is for 18 months, the City Council scheduled reviews of the program for every six months. Under the terms of the agreement, the city is able to easily get out of the contract with any of the vendors if problems arise.

The e-scooters and e-bikes should be available for rent in the city by early spring.

With approval of this pilot program, the City Council took the step of banning riding of the e-scooters on sidewalks. Riding bikes on the sidewalk is already banned.  

At its Jan. 13 meeting, the Public Facilities Commission voted unanimously to recommend against approving the e-scooters in the city due to public safety
concerns with the infrastructure and placement of corrals.

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John
John
1 month ago

As always, the Council only cares about money lining their pockets rather than safety of citizens. There is zero enforcement of any of the minor laws pertaining to safety while using the e-scooters. They should be banned.

Donny
Donny
1 month ago
Reply to  John

42,000 Americans dead every year by motor vehicle and billions of damages and lost income as a result. Leading cause of death among people under 30. Get your safety target straight. Parking also takes up a significant chunk of city land, look around there are cars left strewn over the streets absolutely everywhere! Someone needs to tidy this up and put in place a proper system! Such as people leaving their own assets on their property, like anything else you own.

chloe ross
chloe ross
1 month ago

I sure hope that a course in using them and returning them and not leaving them in a stop and drop repeat of the last scooter debacle. It wouldbe great if they were used as vehicles on the road and not sidewalk terrors.

Vigilant
Vigilant
1 month ago

Too many untended adult children in West Hollywood continue to be given an exceeding long leash by the city. It seems like sport to them to create slalom courses and skate board jumps on the sidewalks, run up behind people or shine the piercing bright lights into oncoming pedestrians nearly blinding them. It’s surprising that in a city which attracted many residents seeking fairness and belonging, they are the last to demonstrate respect for others because apparently they have little of their own. Sad but time to grow up.

chloe ross
chloe ross
1 month ago
Reply to  Vigilant

You made my point. Thanks

BSme
BSme
1 month ago

Disgusting decision. I’ve lived in WeHo for years. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been knocked over from behind by a sociopath on a scooter or a bike while walking ON THE SIDEWALK. In all the time I’ve lived here, I’ve NEVER seen the City pick up even ONE scooter that’s been abandoned dangerously on the sidewalk nor a cop ticketing unlawful scooter or skateboard riders. NEVER.

Rob Bergstein
Rob Bergstein
1 month ago

While I like the first mile/last usage concept (and honestly, all the years I took the Red Line to work downtown, I might have used a scooter to get from the station home), my issue is the users. We’ve all seen them being ridden on the wrong side of the road, on sidewalks and driving through red lighs and stop signs. And when the user is done, they just get dumped on the sidewalk. We had to pull over once to move one in front of Ibiza nails as a man in a wheelchair couldn’t geta round an abandoned scooter… Read more »

Vigilant
Vigilant
1 month ago

Instead of picturesque neighborhoods and internationally acceptable main boulevards, Weho seems dedicated to too many trashy looking establishments, neglected properties and piles of junk scooters to be hip and happening. There may be too little to work with post pandemic and too late even if we ever truly get our eye on the ball rather than silliness and self congratulatory ceremonies.

michaelz
michaelz
1 month ago

what a terrible idea!

Karen O'Keefe
Karen O'Keefe
1 month ago

Glad they finally approved them! Workers, residents, and visitors need alternatives to motor vehicles, which: 1) are CA’s #1 source of green house gas emissions; 2) cause more than 30k fatalities from collisions in the US each year plus millions of serious injuries; 3) cause 100k deaths in the US each year from air pollution; and 4) waste vast amounts of public space — at vast expense — for their use and storage. Private bike/scooter ownership isn’t a good alternative for many, due to our horrible housing prices/ lack of space, their vulnerability to theft, related costs, and other factors.… Read more »

Vigilant
Vigilant
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen O'Keefe

Unfortunately the perpetual false equivalence. Common sense and logic appear to be missing in this argument.

hifi5000
hifi5000
1 month ago

At least there will be a limit of 100 e-scooters per company in the city.The first time e-scooters were put on the streets,there was no limit and they were left willy-nilly anywhere.

The city might want to start an education campaign to have riders be more courteous to walkers and be mindful where the e-scooters are left.It is just like littering,people have to be taught to put things in their place.

Curtis Beers
Curtis Beers
1 month ago
Reply to  hifi5000

Who makes sure these companies follow the limits?

Kevin Burton
Kevin Burton
1 month ago

Ahem … the West Hollywood municipal code only prohibits the riding of bicycles on sidewalks if there is an adjacent bicycle lane.

Matti
Matti
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin Burton

Yep. That’s sensible policy. If you see someone riding on the sidewalk, it may be because there’s no bike lane available.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

Please list council members vote besides Erickson’s. These scooters invite abuse of them from the most obnoxious type. If you live here you know what I mean. You’re walking down the sidewalk minding your Ps and Qs, getting the steps in, then some obnoxious petulant comes along nearly knocking you over and at the very least startled. One can believe a little less in the goodness of society after that. Runners are similar to the scooters come to think. They run up behind you and your not sure if you’re getting mugged or it’s just someone who doesn’t care about… Read more »

Myra
Myra
1 month ago

Lovely…one more thing to trip over! The city council has made a foolhardy, rash, and dangerous decision. Maybe it’s fun for the younger WEHOANS, but it’s just another hazard for all the rest of us! SMH

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