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Powered Scooter Share Permit Program

SFMTA.com/ScooterPilot
Project Introduction

2021 Scooter Share Permit

The SFMTA has granted three powered scooter share permits for the 2021 permit cycle. The current permits to operate are granted to Lime, Scoot, and Spin. The SFMTA issued the three scooter permits to applicants that met San Francisco’s high standards for safety, equity and accountability.

New permits are generally effective for a one-year term, with the option to extend for another year at the discretion of the SFMTA. As of August 2021, the three current permittees can operate the following numbers of scooters

  • Lime up to 2,000
  • Spin up to 2,000
  • Scoot up to 1,500

Scooters are a sustainable mode of travel and a complement to Muni and public transit service. The SFMTA’s Powered Scooter Share Program ensures that shared scooter operations support the City’s recovery in a safe, sustainable, and equitable way. We take seriously permittees’ adherence to the permit terms and conditions, which are crafted to ensure private mobility options best contribute to the public welfare of the City.

Powered Scooter Share Enforcement

SFMTA deploys field Investigators to respond to 311 and other constituent complaints about scooters. SFMTA Investigators are authorized to issue parking citations to scooter share companies for devices not parked according to the parking requirements. The citation for an improperly parked scooter is $100 per occurrence. SFMTA provides information about Scooter Share complaints, citations issued and citations paid on the Shared Mobility Dashboards.

While SFMTA staff cannot issue citations for sidewalk riding (this is a moving violation and therefore under the authority of the SF Police Department), SFMTA takes these complaints seriously and follows up with Scooter Share permittees about all complaints. Each permittee is required to log sidewalk riding complaints and follow up with their riders to emphasize safe riding behavior.

Other compliance and enforcement measures include biweekly meetings with the Scooter Share permittees and SFMTA staff and extensive reporting requirements. Administrative citations up to $500 per infraction may be issued for failure to comply with the permit terms and conditions.

 

Report Improper Riding or Parking

 

Scooter Share Community Engagement

The SFMTA hosted an online survey beginning in December 2020 through the end of January 2021 to solicit feedback from the community to help staff refine the next round of permit requirements. The survey was available in English, Chinese, Russian and Spanish, and included questions regarding demographics, community engagement, mode choice, and the adaptive program. Full details on the survey can be found in the Report for 2021 Scooter Share Permit Issuance.

The survey results indicated that stakeholders preferred to have regular SFMTA-facilitated meetings with scooter permittees open to the public was the preferred community engagement method, followed by continuous public online forums  Given the clear interest in more transparency, SFMTA now posts Shared Mobility Dashboards providing the public with information about scooter trip levels, complaints and enforcement activities.

As part of the new permit term, SFMTA will look closely at how applicants support existing community structures of advocacy and empowerment, while simultaneously working toward mobility justice goals to ensure equitable access, particularly for communities that have not been historically well-served.

Survey Findings

The SFMTA’s analysis of survey results yielded several interesting findings.

  • For example, 22 percent of all scooter user survey respondents indicated that they would have driven their private vehicle or taken Uber of Lyft on their last trip had a scooter not been available.
  • Trips have also shifted from public transit to scooters, which can be considered in a positive light in the current pandemic context, as 25 percent of respondents would have taken their most recent trip on public transit if the scooter service was not available.
  • A majority of survey respondents reported using scooters because of their convenience, 23 percent of scooter trips were taken to or from public transit, and 72 percent used a scooter on their most recent trip for work, school, or shopping.

 

Adaptive Scooter Program

Equity and disability access are two cornerstones of the SFMTA’s 

Equity and disability access are two cornerstones of the SFMTA’s Guiding Principles for Emerging Mobility Services. This is one reason the SFMTA required an adaptive pilot program to expand access to riders with disabilities, and the new permit requires that adaptive scooters are a permanent fixture. In the permanent program, adaptive devices must comprise at least 5 percent of the on-street fleet and they must be available through the company’s mobile application. Additionally, adaptive scooters can be reserved in advance through the permittees’ websites. New adaptive scooter requirements were developed with input from the disability community, and the survey responses helped identify which features of an adaptive scooter are most useful. Updated metrics on tracking and reporting will also be required.

Links for information about the current permittees’ adaptive scooter programs:

Lime

Spin

Scoot

 


    Project Timeline 
    Key Stakeholder Engagement
    on-going
    Pending
    SFMTA Board approve scooter share-related Transportation Code Amendments
    completed
    Pending
    Publish permit application
    completed
    Pending
    Evaluate applications
    March-April 2021
    Pending
    Announce Permittees
    June 2021
    Pending
    New permit starts
    July 2021
    Pending
    Contact Information
    Sarah Hellman