San Francisco

SF Leaders to Discuss Regulations on Scooter Sharing Companies

Legislation aimed at regulating hundreds of mini motorized scooters that have appeared on streets and sidewalks in San Francisco over the past few weeks will be discussed Monday at City Hall.

The potential new regulations come just days after the city confiscated more than 60 of the scooters from three companies supplying them.

The three companies are Lime, Bird and Spin, and the biggest concern is that users are ditching the scooters in random places all over the city, prompting numerous complaints from residents.

The 20-pound scooters have been said to block doors and walkways and present tripping hazards.

On Friday, San Francisco's public works sent out a team of inspectors and collected 66 of the scooters. It’s the job of the department of public works – to keep sidewalks safe and clear for pedestrians.

"If one of these scooters or anything else is blocking the path of travel (it's a hazard)," said Rachel Gordon, public works spokeswoman. "So if it’s in the middle of the sidewalk, standing there or lying on the sidewalk, and it presents a potential safety hazard, a tripping hazard, a public safety hazard, that’s when we went in and picked them up and took them away."

One of the companies, Spin, already retrieved its scooters from the city. The other two will be able to collect theirs Monday.

Bird spokesman Kenneth Baer said in a statement Sunday the company respects the city’s enforcement effort and pledged that Bird would increase its efforts to educate riders.

Supervisor Jane Kim said there's also a safety element at issue.

"The Bird scooters go over 15 mph, which is not permitted under state law," Kim said. "We're not against them, it's not a ban on these scooters. It's just to make sure we have a set of rules so that everyone can be safe."

The city’s Land Use and Transportation committee will be hearing legislation aimed at the scooter companies at 1:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

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