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City Council Approves Second Shared Mobility Pilot

January 29, 2020 10:00 AM

City Council Approves Second Shared Mobility Pilot

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At its meeting last night, the Santa Monica City Council approved the second Shared Mobility Pilot Program establishing the future for electric scooters and bikes in Santa Monica. Through a competitive process, 2-3 operators will be selected in the spring with the second pilot beginning July 1, 2020.

"Shared e-bikes and scooters have proven their popularity, with over 2.67 million individual rides in Santa Monica in the past year, half of those replacing car trips," said Mayor McKeown. "We know they help clean our air, but now in our second pilot program we need to clean up safety issues and make sure car-free mobility is affordable and accessible.”

The changes in the new program are designed to address affordability, equity, sidewalk riding, parking, industry instability and oversight. Specifically, the goals of the second pilot are to:

  • Maintain the structure and flexibility of adaptable Administrative Regulations;
  • Reduce the number of operators, but maintain the total maximum number of devices to meet peak rider demand;
  • Seek to include durable and varied device types to meet diverse mobility needs;
  • Focus regulations toward ensuring customer reliability, affordability, and access, while improving safety, rider behavior, sustainability, and administrative outcomes;
  • Maintain an open and productive partnership between the City and operators; and
  • Foster compliance with the Administrative Regulations through a progressive fine structure.

Operators will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate how they will achieve these goals through an open and competitive process. The device allocation will remain at 3,250 total devices with two seasonal fleet caps that could be adjusted based on fleet utilization. Council extended the current pilot program to June 30, 2020 to allow for a Request for Applications process to move forward. The timeline is:

  1. January 28, 2020 – Council approved ordinance changes paving the way for the second pilot
  2. March 2020 – Request for Applications is opened for second pilot under new Administrative Regulations
  3. April 2020 – Chief Mobility Officer makes operator selection
  4. June 2020 – Transition period as we move from four to two operators (with potential for up to three depending on applications received)
  5. July 1, 2020 – Second pilot officially begins
  6. December 2021 – 18-month second pilot period ends

Revised Administrative Regulations will be introduced for the second pilot and remain flexible during the program. Changes will prioritize but will not be limited to: Required in-app safety messaging, specific parking incentives, expanded low-income offerings, pricing transparency, low emissions maintenance vehicles, commitment to affordable rates, and a progressive penalty structure to achieve greater compliance.

The Council directed staff to continue to use the Mobility Data Specification (MDS) for system oversight. They also wanted to see operators make their services available through APIs and minimize cross promotion of ride hail services. To ensure stability, they prefer operators who have demonstrated consistent operations in their permitted markets. A Shared Mobility Committee, including at least one shared mobility expert outside of City staff, will review the applications with the Chief Mobility Officer making the final selection of 2-3 operators.

Permit                                                           

First Pilot Program Fee Structure                                                

Recommended Second Pilot Program Fee Structure
Annual Operator Fee $20,000 per operator $20,000 per operator
Anual Per Device Charge $130 per device $104 per device
Use of PROW Fee $1 per device per day $1 per device per day (recommended until green lane reimbursement is complete; could be adjusted based on Council direction)

The revised fee structure represents Council’s desire to balance operators’ financial constraints with the need to continue streetscape improvements like green lanes. The public right of way (PROW) fee will be reevaluated during budget hearings in June.

As part of its direction, Council asked staff to pursue proposals from nonprofit and private entities offering partnership, revenue, and ownership models for Breeze Bike Share, the City-owned smart bike system. A Request for Information to survey options could be released in April/May 2020.

The Request for Applications for the second Shared Mobility Pilot will be released in March at smgov.net/sharedmobility.

Staff report >

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