San Francisco cracks down on powered scooters

National

Crews with the San Francisco Department of Public Works continued confiscating powered scooters Thursday for what the department’s spokeswoman said is a “flagrant disregard for the rules.”

The scooters were deployed throughout the city in March by companies LimeBike, Spin and Bird.

The scooters, which have a GPS device that allows users to find them via a mobile app, are often seen being used on sidewalks and left unattended, oftentimes on their side.

The confiscations come on the heels of the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote to require the scooter share programs to seek permits for their vehicles.

Unpermitted scooters will be confiscated.

In addition, an online permit application for the share companies wouldn’t be ready until at least mid-May.     

A spokesperson for LimeBike said that the company is taking the Board of Supervisors vote and the cease and desist letter seriously.

LimeBike sent KRON4 the following statement: 

We take the action this week by the City Attorney and the Board of Supervisors seriously. In response, we are updating our current community outreach plan to address the City’s concerns about pedestrian safety, parking compliance, and rider education. We plan to roll out new initiatives, along with our complete response to the City Attorney by the end of next week.
In the meantime, we will implement the following:
  1. Safety: We will provide LimeSF branded helmets to our users at LimeBike’s San Francisco headquarters, starting Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day) between12PM-3PM.  We will continue to distribute helmets through our local operations team and established community partners.
  2. Parking: We will develop a new in-app feature for riders to submit a photo of their properly parked scooter at the end of each ride.
  3. Sidewalk usage: We will update the existing guidelines on our scooters to clearly state and display proper usage i.e. Riding on or blocking sidewalks is illegal. We will also make changes in-app to reinforce this message.
Finally, we look forward to our ongoing collaboration with the SFMTA and other key city stakeholders to design industry standards on proper parking and deployment etiquette. As the largest shared electric fleet service provider in the United States, we are proud of our local operations and want to ensure that the entire personal mobility industry succeeds and provides a win-win situation for our city partners.
We recognize that we can’t fix every concern overnight, but as a Bay Area company, we want to be lasting partners with the City and County of San Francisco. This is where LimeBike employees work and live — we want to be good stewards of our hometown and help solve our shared mobility issues.
 

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