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City wants to Return Scooters to our sidewalks

On Monday January 22nd at 2:00 pm the full city council will vote on proposed changes to the city's Shared Mobility Device Ordinance (better known as scooters). All of the scooter operators have currently discontinued service in the city because they were not profitable.

The operators put the blame on the city's regulations, instead of real economic factors such as

• Higher prices being charged (more expensive to ride a scooter than UBER.)

• Buying a scooter is cheaper than renting.

• Injuries and deaths put renters off.

• Lack of variety of devices.

• Seasonality.

• Operator costs increased by Theft and Lawsuits.

The operators have now asked the city to modify the requirements placed on them. Scooter rental companies say they will return for the Summer season only if the City removes

Municipal Code protections for the safety of pedestrians. Specifically they say that in order for their scooters to operate safely in the street they must be able to drive 15mph on sidewalks. Current regulations require operators to geofence their devices to prevent them from operating at more than 3 MPH on city sidewalks.

Instead of the geofencing requirement the proposed changes would only require the operators to have an audible noise telling riders to leave the sidewalk. Nothing would actually stop riders from riding on the sidewalk at speeds up to 15 MPH.

In addition the proposed changes would do the following

• Make it easier for children to access and drive potentially lethal vehicles again.

• Create confusion as to where scooters may be parked. (they could be placed outside of corrals)

• Cluttered and obstructed sidewalks again.

• Federal funding for roads will be threatened again.

• Potential of significant liability for personal injury claims against the City.

The City’s Shared Mobility Device Program costs between $1.1m and $1.3m per year. In 2023 City income from the Program was a fraction of that amount. The AT&I committee’s new fee proposals will slash City income even further. It will cost the City far more to run the SMD program than it will generate. That violates the City’s User Fee policy. Resurrecting the program adopting the proposed fee plan will result in significant taxpayer subsidies.

The City has always claimed we need these devices to provide a First Mile/Last Mile solution for transit users to help in the city's Climate Action Plan. If this were true, shared vehicles would be staged at trolley stations and major bus stops in all nine city council districts not just concentrated at the beach and downtown for joy-riding as has been done in the past. The proposed regulations have no requirement for scooters to be staged at transit stops throughout the city.

We urge the public to contact all nine city Council Members to both:

• object to these proposals and insist that protections for pedestrian safety are maintained


• to call for the Council to conduct a review of the collapsed Shared Mobility Device

Program before considering enabling a new one to be instigated.

You may also make public comment in person during the meeting or on zoom at

Comments may also be submitted using webform

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