San Francisco

Next Step: San Francisco City Leaders Mull Permit Process for Electric Scooters

The ongoing saga of electric scooters in the city by the Bay faces its next test Tuesday.

After the now-infamous scooters started piling up across San Francisco sidewalks, outside grocery stores and near public transportation stations, there was a cease and desist letter issued by the city's attorney office to the three companies operating in the area. Then, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create a permitting process for the companies. Now, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday will explain how the permit process will work.

The proposal on the table will be a two-year pilot program known as the "Power Scooter Share Program."

Only five scooter companies would be allowed to operate in the city under the proposed program. Each company could have no more than 500 scooters scattered across the city. That means no more than 2,500 scooters could be cruising around city streets at the same time.

When it comes to fees, scooter companies would have to pay $5,000 for an application, $25,000 annually and a $10,000 maintenance fee, which would cover any property damage as well as storage for any illegally-parked scooters.

The SFTMA has issued letters to LimeBike, Bird the Spin — three popular scooter companies that have previously taken to the streets of San Francisco — to notify them about about the proposed program. Those companies have expressed a desire to comply.

The program is slated to be discussed during a Tuesday board meeting set for 1 p.m.

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