Santa Monica City Council Approves Shared Mobility Pilot Program

June 13, 2018 12:27 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At its meeting tonight, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved a 16-month pilot program for dockless, shared mobility devices, including electric scooters and bicycles. The pilot will inform the development of long-term policy solutions to expand sustainable mobility options equitably while protecting public safety on city streets and sidewalks.

“There’s no denying the popularity and ease of shared mobility devices that can help Santa Monica reach its goal of being a multi-modal city,” said Mayor Ted Winterer. “Yet we must balance that with a serious need to hold companies accountable to ensure responsible behavior on our streets and sidewalks. This pilot approach will allow us to understand usage and operations in order to create a long-term program that establishes a safe, equitable and sustainable mobility option in Santa Monica.”

The Shared Mobility Pilot Program will:

The goals of the program are to:

“A key component of this program’s success is the partnership with operators, ensuring a focus on rider safety and solutions that preserve our public spaces for everyone’s enjoyment,” said Anuj Gupta, Deputy City Manager and Director of Policy. “This collaborative approach will position us to develop policies that expand transportation options while respecting our community's needs and mobility demands.”

Structuring the program as a pilot will enable the city to:

To successfully operate the pilot program, Council approved two full-time employees – one program coordinator and one enforcement liaison – on limited-term contracts until a permanent program is established. These positions will be created by retooling existing staffing structures, and will not add new positions to the City’s workforce.

The pilot program includes cost recovery to fund these positions and overall operation of the pilot. Each operator will be assessed a base operator fee of $20,000, and then a scalable per device fee of $130 per year. Council directed staff to explore a possible use of public space fee. The fees will be re-examined as the pilot program closes.

Operators for the pilot program will be selected through an open application process. The City is looking for operators with experience, high-quality device and system, and a willingness to work collaboratively with the City for the duration of the pilot program. A request for applications will be posted in July, with submissions being reviewed by an inter-departmental committee and the Director of Planning and Community Development making final selections. 

Vending permits for existing approved operators such as Bird and Lime expire at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2018. To facilitate a smooth transition to the pilot, Council passed an emergency ordinance last night requiring Fiscal Year 2018/19 permits for such operators to expire on September 16, 2018, just before the pilot kicks off on September 17, 2018.

More Information

Staff Report >

How to Safely Operate a Motorized Scooter >


Media Contact

Constance Farrell
Communications & Public Information Manager


Community Development