Powered Scooter Share Permit Program
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, Bird (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
- Bird (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
- Lime (call 415-818-1305 or email email@example.com)
- Bird (Scoot) (call 1-866-205-2442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Spin (call 888-262-5189 or email email@example.com)
- 311 (dial 311 or make a request online)
- SFMTA Regulated Mobility Feedback Form
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.
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: