SANTA MONICA–The Santa Monica City Council approved the second Shared Mobility Pilot Program for electric scooters and bikes in Santa Monica on Tuesday, January 28. The city will hold an open and competitive application process to identify the best available devices and system operators to participate in the second pilot beginning July 1, 2020.

The changes in the new program address affordability, equity, sidewalk riding, parking, industry instability and oversight. The goals of the second pilot program include:

  • Maintain the structure and flexibility of adaptable Administrative Regulations
  • Reduce the number of operators, but maintain the total maximum number of devices to meet peak rider demand
  • Seek to include durable and varied device types to meet diverse mobility needs
  • Focus regulations toward ensuring customer reliability, affordability, and access, while improving safety, rider behavior, sustainability, and administrative outcomes
  • Maintain an open and productive partnership between the City and operators
  • Foster compliance with the Administrative Regulations through a progressive fine structure

Operators will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate how they will achieve these goals. The device allocation will remain at 3,250 total devices with two seasonal fleet caps that could be adjusted based on fleet utilization. City Council extended the current pilot program to June 30, 2020 to allow for a Request for Applications process to move forward.

“Shared e-bikes and scooters have proven their popularity, with over 2.67 million individual rides in Santa Monica in the past year, half of those replacing car trips,” said Mayor Kevin McKeown. “We know they help clean our air, but now in our second pilot program we need to clean up safety issues and make sure car-free mobility is affordable and accessible.”

The timeline for the second pilot is projected to be:

  • January 28, 2020 – Council approved ordinance changes paving the way for the second pilot
  • March 2020 – Request for Applications is opened for second pilot under new Administrative Regulations
  • April 2020 – Chief Mobility Officer makes operator selection
  • June 2020 – Transition period as we move from four to two operators (with potential for up to three depending on applications received)
  • July 1, 2020 – Second pilot officially begins
  • December 2021 – 18-month second pilot period ends

Revised Administrative Regulations will be introduced for the second pilot and remain flexible during the program. Changes will prioritize, but will not be limited to:

  • Required in-app safety messaging
  • Specific parking incentives
  • Expanded low-income offerings
  • Pricing transparency
  • Low emissions maintenance vehicles
  • Commitment to affordable rates
  • A progressive penalty structure to achieve greater compliance

The second, 18-month Shared Mobility Pilot Program ending in December 2021 will require an appropriation of $274,524 in 2020-21 and $137,262 in 2021-22 for staffing and program costs.