February 27, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Scooter Wars Heat Up

City considering awarding Uber and Lyft scooter rights.

By Sam Catanzaro

Scooters are always a hot topic in Santa Monica but this week the heat got turned up a few notches when Bird and Lime both temporarily suspended service on their devices in a symbolic protest.

On August 7, the City of Santa Monica’s Shared Mobility Device Selection Committee released their rankings of potential operators for the upcoming Shared Mobility Pilot Program which will begin on September 17. Bird and Lime are ranked 10th and 4th respectively. The Committee is recommending that David Martin, the City’s Director of Planning and Community Development, select only the top-two operators: LYFT and Jump. LYFT scooters are owned by the company that operates Lyft, the ride-hailing service. Uber owns jump.

In response to this, Bird and Lime sent out a letter to users saying the company would shut down scooters Tuesday to protest the City’s actions while calling on users to attend a rally outside City Hall on Tuesday before the start of the Council meeting.

“Last Friday, the City released the initial staff recommendations of its current procurement process for shared electric scooter operators, proposing to award permits to two other companies, removing Lime and Bird—the only current operators in the City—from Santa Monica.  The proposed companies have no history of operating shared scooters in any city,” the joint statement read.

A scooter supporter speaking outside City Hall Tuesday.

There was no item on the Council agenda regarding scooters and City Officials noted at the start of the meeting that City Council had already considered scooters at their June 26 meeting when they approved the Shared Mobility Pilot Program. The decision now rests in the hands of the City’s Planning and Community Development Director David Martin.

“The Council is not the body that makes the decision on e-scooters,” said City Manager Rick Cole said, adding “We anticipate the selection of two e-scooter companies.”

In the rankings, Bird and Lime both scored low marks for compliancy. Both JUMP and Lyft scooters scored higher when it came to compliancy, which some people question since neither JUMP norLyft scooters are operable yet and so, therefore, have had nothing to comply with. In addition, Lime said that they have worked with the City of Santa Monica in the past to ensure compliance and argued that their experience makes them a better choice.

“As the most experienced shared bike and scooter company in the United States, we are disappointed by the City’s current proposal because Santa Monica riders deserve access to best-in-class technology. We have on-the-ground experience operating shared scooters in Santa Monica and around the world, giving us the greatest readiness to fulfill the needs of residents without interruption when the pilot program begins,” wrote Toby Sun, Lime CEO in a press release.

The final decision will be made by the City’s Planning and Community Development Director David Martin, who will decide based on the applications, the selection committee’s recommendations and public comment. Public comment was open through Friday, August 17 and the decision is expected in the next few weeks.

in News
Related Posts

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...

Real Estate Giant Funds LAPD Union Fund to Sway L.A. City Council Election in March

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Santa Monica Company Responsible for LA’s Largest Mass Eviction Gives $400,000 Santa Monica-based Real estate investment trust company Douglas Emmett...

Santa Monica College Unveils 2024 Spring Jazz Series Lineup

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Tickets for each concert are priced at $10 and can be purchased in advance The Santa Monica College Music Department...

Downtown Wellness Center Bridges Gap Between Psychedelics and Meditation

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The Center Has Partnered With Local Agencies and Gave Free Sessions to Around 500 Veterans in Two Years By Zach...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Calls Special Board of Education Meeting

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

SMMUSD Gathers to Address Time-Sensitive Resolutions In a press release sent on Saturday, February 24, The Santa Monica-Malibu School District...

 39th Independent Spirit Awards Celebrates Independent Cinema in Santa Monica

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony Amid Pro-Palestinian Protest The 39th Independent Spirit Awards ceremony, another precursor to the...

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Landlords’ Challenge to Rent-Control Laws

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

New York Landlords’ Bid to Challenge Rent-Control Laws Fails The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a significant property rights...

Ocean Park Triplex Hits Market Again After 36 Years at $1.6M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The property presents an enticing opportunity for owner-users or developers For the first time in over 36 years, this triplex,...

Cher Drops Price of Her Seven-Bedroom Malibu Mansion by $10M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The legendary singer bought the parcel for $2.95 million over 30 years ago By Zach Armstrong Music icon Cher has...

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

(Video) Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024 at Father’s Office in Culver City

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024  at Father’s Office in Culver City. The ticket got you two pours of the...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...