City Council to Consider Public Right of Way Fee for Scooter Companies

City Staff says that the public should be compensated for the use of public land like sidewalks by scooter companies. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

Santa Monica considering charging scooter companies for use of public land. 

By Sam Catanzaro

One of the most common complaints about motorized scooters is that they clutter up the sidewalk and other public areas. To address this, the Santa Monica City Council will consider an ordinance Tuesday, August 28 that would levy a $.98 per device per day fee on scooter companies.

“The public right of way land is a valuable asset, designed primarily for the movement of people, goods and related activities,” reads a City of Santa Monica Staff Report attached to the ordinance. “While many residents have eagerly embraced the new options, their arrival has severely disrupted the limited sidewalk space, particularly in business districts as novice riders commandeered sidewalks for riding and parking e-scooters.”

The ordinance, if passed, would authorize the City to establish these fees and charges for the private commercial use of public property, as of September, 17, which is when the City Of Santa Monica’s Shared Mobility Program is set to begin as well.

The City says that fees collected under this ordinance could be used to expand mobility infrastructure and services like protected bike lanes, mobility hubs, Vision Zero improvements or educational programs that will help integrate shared mobility devices safely into the Santa Monica. City Staff estimates this ordinance would generate approximately $89,000 a month.

The City Council meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday, August 28. To read the full ordinance and staff report for the use of public property fees for shared mobility devices, go to http://santamonicacityca.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1148 and look for item 8.A.