SANTA MONICA—On Friday, July 13, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved a 16-month shared mobility pilot program for dock-less devices. This includes electric scooters and bicycles. The program will provide insight for the prospective development of long-term policy solutions that aim to expand sustainable mobility options while also advancing public safety on city sidewalks and streets.

“There’s no denying the popularity and ease of shared mobility devices that can help Santa Monica reach its goal of being a multi-modal city, yet we must balance that with a serious need to hold companies accountable to ensure responsible behavior on our streets and sidewalks. This pilot approach will allow us to understand usage and operations in order to create a long-term program that establishes a safe, equitable and sustainable mobility option in Santa Monica,” said Mayor Ted Winterer.

According to the city of Santa Monica’s website the program will:

  • Set a dynamic device cap based on utilization.
  • Require vendors to create interactive safety education for users and increase the availability of helmets for riders at the time of use.
  • Require operators to share real-time utilization data with the City.
  • Allow up to four operators to be selected to participate made up of at least two electric scooter and two electric bike options.
  • Ensure equitable distribution throughout the City.
  • Require operators to develop systems that will remedy improper parking, including pick up/drop off zones and incentives.
  • Enhance operator customer service and responsiveness to resident and user complaints, including a 24-hour hotline.
  • Set forth a broader list of recommended program components through which partners could be evaluated during the pilot term.

Some of the goals of the program include creating access to new modes of mobility for visitors, residents, and employees, and to create a legal and framework for managing shared mobility service providers. Vending permits for pre-existing approved operators like Bird and Lime ended on June 30, 2018, of the fiscal year.

City Council approved positions for two full-time employees who will operate the pilot program. The positions created will be a program coordinator and an enforcement liaison, and they will be on limited-term contracts until a permanent program is established. A post calling for applications will go out sometime in July. Applications will be under review by an interdepartmental committee, with Community Development making the final hiring decisions.