Mayor of San Diego proposes a regulatory framework for dockless scooters

Posted: 22 October 2018 | | No comments yet

The new proposed policies focus on public safety, rider education and data-sharing, encouraging sustainable mobility across the city.

San Diego

With the goal of encouraging more transportation choices and improving the quality of life in San Diego, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer has proposed a regulatory framework for dockless scooters.

This is expected to address safety concerns while allowing the nascent technology to continue operating in San Diego in a more responsible way.

“The rapid evolution of this industry is evidence of the popularity of dockless mobility devices as great options for folks who would like to leave their car at home,” Faulconer said. “As with many disruptive new technologies, there are issues that need to be addressed. First and foremost, public safety is our top priority and that will be reflected in these common-sense regulations.”

The proposed policies are focused on motorised scooters – the predominant mobility device used across the city – but are designed to include other types of dockless devices as the industry continues to evolve. The regulatory framework covers five primary areas – limiting maximum speed in designated zones, rider education, data-sharing, operating fees, and legal indemnification for the City of San Diego.

The City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods (PS&LN) Committee is to hold a hearing on the proposed framework.

“I’m pleased to have worked with Mayor Faulconer to develop important safety standards for the protection of scooter riders and pedestrians,” said City Council member, Lorie Zapf. “My goal has always been to slow down the speed of the scooters and address safety concerns. With this proposal, I feel confident that we will see changes for the better.”

Using geofencing technology, operators will be required to slow their devices down to eight miles per hour in designated high-pedestrian traffic zones around the City. Each operator will also need to indemnify the City from liability claims and each will have to hold a liability insurance policy.

Prior to each use, companies will be required to educate riders of local and state vehicle and traffic codes and the cost of a citation for violating those laws. Each device will be clearly labelled stating: ‘Riding on sidewalks is prohibited’.

Circulate San Diego supports the regulations in order to ensure the continued availability and safe use of dockless scooters,” said Maya Rosas, Policy Director for Circulate San Diego. “The scooters are game changers that provide new mobility options and with safe infrastructure they will help San Diego meet its Climate Action Plan and Vision Zero goals.”

The scooter operators will be obliged to provide the City with detailed monthly reports that will be useful for Climate Action Plan monitoring and mobility planning, including fleet size and utilisation rates, trip information, parking information, reported incidents and maintenance activities.

Each company wishing to operate within City limits will be issued an annual permit, with a fee, and will be required to pay an additional operational fee for the use of City property. Costs associated with each fee are still being determined.