Jon Baird

LA City Council Approves 1 Year E-Scooter Pilot Program

September 04, 2018 - 2:30 pm

(KNX 1070) - The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously approved a set of proposed regulations for a one-year pilot program for the dockless electric scooter industry.

The regulations would cap the number of devices to 3,000 per company, with the opportunity to field more if they are placed in disadvantaged communities.

The scooters have sparked debate in a number of Westside communities in the past year.

Supporters say they're an environmentally friendly way of getting around. Critics say they're a safety hazard.  The regulations going before the council would allow for a controlled scooter expansion.

The new regulations going before the council would allow a cap of 3,000 scooters per company, but the operators would have the chance to add 2,500 more if they're located in disadvantaged communities.  There are other incentives too.

Plus a council committee recommends the scooters’ top speed be capped at 12 miles an hour. 

KNX reporter Jon Baird:

There's no ban on electric scooters in Los Angeles, at least not yet.

A City Council committee has decided against banning the devices in August even while drafting up new regulations. They’re worried, in part, about killing the scooter business here.

One Los Angeles councilmember wanted to pull the plug on the scooter business until LA’s rules are finalized.

Paul Koretz thinks they’re being ridden unsafely.

There are concerns that no one is really enforcing the laws either like the one banning people from riding scooters on the sidewalk.   

KNX reporter Claudia Peschiutta reports:

A council committee has just approved proposed rules for a year-long pilot program. They include a 15 miles per hour speed limit for scooters. Another council committee has recommended 12 miles per hour. Councilmember Joe Buscaino is backing the higher limit while Councilmember Paul Koretz says he's not convinced there's any way to make scooters legal and safe. Buscaino says the city can impose rules and regulations, but it can't control "stupidity and personal irresponsibility."

The full city council will meet within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, in West Hollywood, they may be popular, but West Hollywood is taking a stand against motorized scooters. The City Council has approved a ban on the scooters from companies like Lime and Bird. 

West Hollywood Mayor John Duran tells KNX, the problem is, people aren't riding them safely, and the scooters are being left all over sidewalks and streets.

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