On September 4, the Los Angeles City Council approved rules to guide the use of the dockless scooters and bikes in Los Angeles. These dockless mobility devices can be a convenient zero-emission alternative to adding more cars to the road for short trips around the neighborhood, but only if they are regulated by smart, comprehensive and enforceable rules.
Over the past few months, the council’s Transportation Committee – which Mike chairs – and the Public Works Committee have both debated and voted to approve draft regulations for dockless bike and scooter companies that would allow them to operate responsibly in LA neighborhoods. As the regulations have been developed, Mike has been clear about the need to make these new devices work for our neighborhoods by imposing strong requirements to address concerns regarding riding on sidewalks, unsafe parking, lack of user education and the need for outreach to local stakeholders.
Below, please find a summary of the rules approved by the City Council today.
Pilot Program Elements:
- Safety – All vehicles will be required to adhere to California safety standards and submit a record of reported collisions on a monthly basis. We will also require bikes to have a tail light (CA law only requires headlights for bikes) and scooters to have a minimum 48-point font notice not to ride on sidewalks. Scooters will be limited to a top speed of 15 mph.
- Parking – Operators are required to maintain a 24-hour hotline and respond to improperly parked or inoperable devices within 2 hours, from 7 AM to 10 PM daily. Not meeting this 2-hour standard subjects companies to having their permits revoked. Additionally, the City will add the ability to report an inoperable or improperly parked scooter via 311, which will create a service request for the company and allow the City to track their responsiveness. In the future, operators will be required to use technology that can tell if a device is parked upright. In high traffic areas, the City may designate parking zones and require that devices only be left in them.
- Outreach – Companies are required to prepare an outreach plan that reflects local stakeholders in each community, including neighborhood councils, business districts, community organizations, and disability services providers.
- Equity – There are incentives built into the program to encourage companies to serve low-income communities. Operators must also provide a non-smart phone option for reservations, a cash payment option, reduced fares for low-income individuals, a multilingual mobile app, and a call center. To make the system more accessible to people with a range of fitness and abilities, operators would be required to either make 50% of their bike fleets electric-assist or 1% of their bike fleets handicap-accessible.
- Fleet Size – Operators must have a minimum fleet size of 500 and maximum of 3,000 per company at launch. Companies may add an additional 2,500 devices in Disadvantaged Communities, and yet another additional 5,000 devices in Disadvantaged Communities in the San Fernando Valley. Thus, a company can launch with up to 10,500 devices if fully utilizing these incentives. After demonstrating compliance with program requirements and meeting certain performance criteria, LADOT will allow companies to increase their fleet size. The program does not specify a fleet size cap.
- Operations and Maintenance – Operators must provide maintenance logs and have a staffed operations center with a 24-hour hotline.
- Data Sharing – LADOT is proposing a new data standard for the industry so that we can see in real time how the system is operating and make smart management decisions.
- Permit Pricing Fees – Companies will be required to pay $20,000 for the annual permit, $130 per vehicle, $39 per vehicle in disadvantaged community, $28.32/hr for the removal/relocation of vehicle; and $80/vehicle performance bond.
- Enforcement and Evaluation – LADOT will use data collected from the pilot to evaluate operators and enforce permit conditions. If an operator is not responsive, LADOT will partner with the Bureau of Sanitation to remove improperly parked or inoperable devices from the public right-of-way.
- Interim Operation– LADOT is authorized to issue revocable conditional permits for limited operation (up to 3,000 devices) while companies are completing their applications to the full program.
Contact Info: If you have a particular concern about the way a company is operating (e.g. Bird has a “nest” in an inappropriate location), please contact one of the company representatives listed below.
LAPD Western Traffic Division: (for concerns about traffic enforcement, e.g. riding on sidewalks)