Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in a 13-0 vote to set new regulations for dockless scooter companies. However, will these rules be enough to regain control over city sidewalks? To start, each company will be limited to 3,000 scooters spread out across L.A. city, except two districts with ongoing pilot programs where fleet numbers are not restricted. This will be a massive decrease in scooters for Bird as some estimate they operate over 15,000 scooters in Los Angeles alone. Companies operating in Los Angeles will be able to increase their fleet size over time by complying with regulations and operating in low income areas. Companies will be mandated to operate a 24 hour hotline for reporting unsafe or illegal behavior with their scooter. Additionally, scooters’ max speed will be capped at 15 miles per hour.
Regulating dockless scooters have proven to be difficult over the last several months as city government and law enforcement were flooded with concerns for public safety. Scooters have been abandoned on sidewalks, left in the ocean and even set on fire. However, these regulations will likely hold the rental companies and riders to a greater degree of responsibility when operating in Los Angeles. Many believe that the cities of Los Angeles County have to develop solutions to the ever increasing traffic problem and shared scooters, cars, and public transit may be part of that solution.