6 Things To Know Before You Ride

June 23, 2021 10:00 AM

This summer, you will notice changes to the shared mobility services offered in Santa Monica. On July 1, Santa Monica’s second shared mobility pilot program launches with four permitted companies with and a mix of four device types to serve a range of transportation needs in the community.  

To sign up to ride, download any of the companies’ mobile app, or scan the QR code on the mobility device you want to ride. All four companies will offer discounted rates for qualified riders. Contact the company’s customer service for more information on how to qualify. Bird and Lyft e-scooters will no longer be allowed to operate in the City.  

The City of Santa Monica is committed to being a multi-modal city and a place where we eliminate pedestrian fatalities while at the same time reducing vehicle trips and emissions. Through the second shared mobility pilot program, we will continue to learn about how to optimize performance and safety, and regulate and enforce shared mobility services in the City. The new companies will be testing various new and unique features to help and keep the community safe, including on-device turn signals and sidewalk riding detection technology.  

As Santa Monica welcomes residents and visitors back to our public spaces, many people are unfamiliar with the important rules of the road and we want to make sure the public is ready to ride. Here are six things you need to know before you go! 

1. Ride on the street! Not the beach bike path, Promenade, parks, or sidewalk. 

Someone could become seriously injured if a scooter and pedestrian collide on the sidewalk. There’s no getting around it. Electric scooters go up to 15 mph and are required to be on the street and with the flow of traffic. They are also NOT allowed on the Third Street Promenade or beach bike path in Santa Monica. You can get a ticket if you are seen riding an e-scooter on either or in parks, including Palisades Park. For now, enjoy riding an e-scooter in one of the many bike lanes found throughout Santa Monica. The only exception to this rule is the Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes offered by Lyft and Veo, which are allowed to be ridden on the beach bike path.  

2. Shared mobility devices aren't for kids. 

Don’t lose your driving privileges! Per the California Vehicle Code you must have a valid license or permit to operate an e-scooter (stand-up or sit-down). You do not need a valid driver's license to ride a Class 1 or Class 2 e-bike.  

3. Park respectfully. 

You wouldn’t want someone to park their car on your front lawn, so please be mindful of where and how you park shared e-scooters and e-bikes. There are over 170 drop zones throughout Santa Monica. If you can’t find one, make sure to park upright and to the edge of the curb so you don’t block access. Think about wheelchair users and citizens who need a clear path. If you see a knocked-over e-scooter or bike, please do your part, pick it up, and move it out of the way. 

4. Wear a helmet. 

Helmets can save your life. They are required for people under age 18. They are also strongly encouraged for adults over age 18. Don’t have a helmet? Consider visiting one of Santa Monica’s many amazing bike stores, or contact one of the four shared mobility companies who will provide you a helmet. You can find something that suits your style. 

5. No tandem riding. 

It’s against the law to have two riders on one shared mobility device. Sure, it looks fun, but they aren’t built for it and tandem riding increases your chances of getting in an accident. Keep your buddy safe by having them rent their own scooter. And be sure you both have helmets! 

6. Don’t sip and scoot. 

Alcohol and scooting or biking are a bad mix. Riding under the influence is against the law. You can get a DUI, similar to driving. If you are enjoying a drink, we suggest walking, taking the bus, or catching a ride to reach your next destination instead.  

Help us spread the word about shared mobility safety by sharing this blog post. Thanks for your help to keep Santa Monica a safe place to scoot. 


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Getting Around, Ways to Get Around