A Los Angeles City Council committee found some potential regulations for dockless scooters too restrictive Wednesday and asked the Department of Transportation to come back with a new set of guidelines for a potential pilot program.
The Transportation Committee spent more than an hour discussing a report from LADOT about potential laws and guidelines for dockless electric scooters, which are already operating on a limited basis in Venice and on the campus of UCLA.
LADOT recommended creating a geo-fence that would limit scooters and dockless bike share companies from operating within a three-mile radius of Los Angeles Metro Bike Share service areas, which would limit their deployment in places like downtown, Venice and San Pedro under the pilot program.
“I am concerned about the geo-fence concept, and I think for us it eliminates our ability to do that first-last mile stuff that we should be doing,” Councilman Paul Koretz said. “Unless we are legally required to kowtow to Metro, we’re weakening our ability to do it in favor of theirs, and I would want to eliminate this so we can from a policy perspective operate in the way that we want it to.”
Dockless bikes and scooters work through a phone app which allows people to find and unlock the devices and drop them off anywhere they are allowed, with no docking station or kiosk required.
The committee also asked LADOT to reconsider a cap on operators that would limit them to 2,500 devices in the city, and to also report on the possibility of an equity program that would make the devices cheaper in lower income neighborhoods.