Santa Monica City Council Approves Ordinance Outlining Temporary Regulations for Shared Mobility Systems

March 7, 2018

Santa Monica City Council Approves Ordinance Outlining Temporary Regulations for Shared Mobility Systems

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At its meeting last night, March 6, 2018, the Santa Monica City Council approved an emergency ordinance establishing temporary regulations for shared mobility systems and devices while a long-term regulatory framework is developed. This ordinance comes at a time when dockless mobility devices, including Bird electric scooters, have taken off in Santa Monica and the region. “Dockless” systems allow bikes and scooters to be left in any location, regardless of the presence of a rack, sometimes causing access and safety issues in the public rights-of-way.

"Santa Monica leads on mobility and we want to see innovative companies like Bird successfully operate here," said Mayor Ted Winterer. "This ordinance balances public access and safety concerns with the popularity of convenient and sustainable transit choices that align with Santa Monica's multi-modal culture."

Council directed the following:

  • Amend the Santa Monica Municipal Code to establish that dockless mobility systems are subject to vending regulations per chapter 6.36.
  • An enforcement measure to protect the public rights-of-way, imposing an impound fee of $60 only when shared mobility devices pose an immediate hazard or obstruct access.
  • Staff will return to Council in the coming months for a study session to determine the components of a new regulatory framework for shared mobility devices like e-bikes and e-scooters, including a potential pilot program.

"We are eager to collaborate with shared mobility companies to develop a longer-term regulatory approach that enhances transportation options while protecting public safety and accessibility," said Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta. "In the meantime, we anticipate that companies will achieve voluntary compliance by limiting their vending of devices to private property locations." 

As an emergency ordinance, these regulations will expire on January 1, 2019. Staff expects to bring Council new options well in advance of that date.


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