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City Seeking Scooter and Bike Share Services for Pilot Program
By Lookout Staff
July 13, 2018 -- The City this week began taking applications for scooter and bike share services that will be part of Santa Monica's "Shared Mobility Pilot Program" approved by the City Council last month.
The 16-month pilot program sets standards for shared electric scooters and bicycles that some residents worry are overtaking the city's already congested streets ("Santa Monica Launches Pilot Program for Electric Scooters, Bicycles," June 13, 2018).
The program -- which allows at least two operators for scooters and two for bikes -- is an effort to quickly "adapt to a rapidly changing industry, but leave room to learn and adjust as appropriate," City officials said.
The shared mobility services, which have taken off in Santa Monica over the past two years, are run by private companies that use the latest technologies to rent their vehicles.
But the wild popularity of the devices have both aided in the City's campaign to get drivers our of their cars and posed safety concerns for those who share Santa Monica's increasingly busy roadways, including pedestrians.
"Providing more low-emission mobility options can create a more diverse, convenient, and accessible transportation network that would reduce emissions and congestion, and improve the quality of life in the city," Planning & Community Development officials said.
"However, like with all new technologies, shared mobility devices can also pose significant challenges with regard to appropriately managing the public-right-of-way, encouraging public safety, and adapting old regulations to new business types."
The pilot program -- which starts September 17 -- gives the City an opportunity to test new device and service providers and explore partnership models with private companies, officials said.
It requires operators to provide real time data on the vehicles' use, provide more helmets and educate users to enhance safety.
It also requires operators to develop systems that address complaints about parking the vehicles -- which often block sidewalks -- and include zones and incentives for pick ups and drop offs.
Applications for share services providers must be submitted by July 27. The deadline for public comments is August 17.
The selections will be posted August 30.
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