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Electric scooters are getting closer to regulation in SF

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee has been working with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to develop a permit process to enable the SFMTA to regulate e-scooter share companies. Today, the Committee heard proposed legislation regarding permitting and enforcement of shared, electric scooter programs. The next step is for this to move forward to the Board of Supervisors for further consideration. In the last month or so, three different scooter-share programs from Bird, LimeBike and Spin  deployed their respective e-scooters without explicit permission. This has resulted in a number of scooters being left on the sidewalks and even on MUNI trains . “I’m very annoyed with how these companies moved forward the last couple of weeks,” Supervisor Jane Kim, a sponsor of the legislation, said today. The big takeaway from today is that all of these scooter companies jumped the gun pertaining to deployment in San Francisco. “To say that you asked us for permission and implied we gave you that permission” before deploying the scooters, Supervisor Kim said, “isn’t the best way to build trust.” Similar to what the city did around dockless bikes, the city is looking to do the same with dockless scooters. The idea isn’t to ban them, but rather to ensure there are rules and regulations around scooters, and that they don’t cause a public nuisance. If all goes according to plan, the SFMTA said it hopes to open up the permitting process May 1. Earlier today, SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera sent cease-and-desist letters to all three of the companies, requesting a response by April 30. Although there is no proposed complete ban, it’s quite obvious that Supervisors Kim and Peskin are not happy with each respective startup’s approaches to launching their scooters in San Francisco without explicit permission. “It’s clear that many of these companies continue to build corporate empires off of a basic premise — making massive profit always trumps protecting the public and innovation is only possible by cutting corners,” Peskin said. In his opening remarks, Peskin also touched on how this is not emergency legislation, despite what Bird wanted some people to think

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Electric scooters are getting closer to regulation in SF

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