New San Francisco Ordinance Regulates E-Scooters

Regulates-E-Scooters

As reported in our blog posted on April 30, 2018, the City Attorney in San Francisco issued a cease and desist order earlier that month, temporarily suspending operations of a number of “e-scooter” vendors in the city and impounding nearly 70 scooters. Just over a week later, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved and added a new provision to the city’s Transportation Code, an ordinance entitled “Powered Scooter Share Parking Restrictions.”

Under the new law, a rented power scooter in the city of San Francisco may not be parked, left standing or left unattended on any street, sidewalk or right-of-way without first obtaining a permit from the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency). Before obtaining the necessary permit, scooter rental companies must:

  • Provide proof of insurance
  • Have the capacity to share trip data with city officials
  • Implement a privacy policy to protect user information
  • Provide education to persons who rent scooters
  • File a proposed service area plan (to be approved by the city)
  • Have a low-income rental plan in place

The law also states that any scooter left unattended may be considered a public nuisance and may be impounded. The city may also levy fines on the owners of the scooter.

Effective May 1, 2018, the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency has instituted a one year pilot program to determine the effectiveness of the new ordinance. During that time period, only 1,500 permit requests will be granted.

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