June 12, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Begins Shared Mobility Pilot Program

New scooters deployed throughout Santa Monica today. 

By Sam Catanzaro 

It was no coincidence that the City of Santa Monica and scooter vendors chose the Expo Line Terminus at Colorado and 4th Street as the location for a press conference to announce the launch of Santa Monica’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program this morning. E-scooters and bikes, like the light-rail Metro trains arriving and departing at the station during the press conference, are seen by many as a central component in creating a sustainable model of transportation in cities throughout the country.

“Today we begin a journey down a new road of mobility,” said Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer. “We are redefining micro-mobility for communities across the country and globe.”

Anuj Gupta, Deputy City Manager for the City of Santa Monica, speaking at this morning’s press conference.

Santa Monica’s pilot program, which started today, allows each of the selected operators to deploy 750 devices each, totaling 1,000 e-bikes and 2,000 e-scooters. Bird and Lime will both be allocated 750 scooters each while Jump (owned by Uber) and Lyft will both get 250 scooters each. Jump and Lyft will each get 500 e-bikes.

“Santa Monica is Bird’s hometown and the birthplace of the e-scooter movement,” said Ryan Fujiu Vice President of Product and Compliance at Bird. “Santa Monica is embracing our sustainable and equitable transportation solution to measurably improve the air we breathe and how we move about our city.”

The number of scooters allocated to companies is dynamic and subject to change as operators will share data and work closely with the City to gauge the appropriated number of devices needed, depending on utilization and performance.

City Officials, including Santa Mayor Ted Winterer (2nd from right) were at the scene to kick off the Shared Mobility Pilot Program.

“Each will start with an initial allocation of 750 devices and Lyft and Jump will soon be operating both e-bikes and e-scooters,” said Anuj Gupta, Santa Monica’s Deputy City Manager. “Together, we will use the data our partners share with us to assess the right balance and quantity of devices across the City.”

At the press conference this morning, City Officials acknowledged that dockless e-scooters have been a controversial and device issue in Santa Monica. The City says the pilot program has taken into consideration many of the concerns residents have raised, especially regarding unsafe riders.

“I know there has been a lot of controversy around these dockless devices. Those of us at City Hall have heard the concerns about unsafe riders for a year,” Mayor Winterer said. “With this sixteen-month pilot, the City of Santa Monica will work closely with these four operators to create a safe, manageable, sustainable way to incorporate e-scooters and e-bikes into our community.”

Lyft shows off a scooter docking station that can be used by businesses to keep scooters parked in neat manner

Gupta in his remarks made clear that the City and the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) will be enforcing both state and local laws surrounding scooter use. According to Gupta, the SMPD has issued over 1,000 citations this summer to improper scooter riders.

“We want riders in bike lanes, wearing helmets, one person to a device. E-scooter riders need to have a valid driver’s license and all e-bikes and e-scooters must stay off the prohibited areas like the beach bike path, the Promenade, our City Parks and of course the sidewalks,” Gupta said.

Representatives from the scooter companies touted the role their devices will have in helping cities like Santa Monica reduce their carbon footprint. According to Bird, since the first ten scooters landed in Santa Monica in September 2017, more than 1.7 million miles have been ridden on Birds in Santa Monica, preventing more than 1.5 million pounds of carbon emissions that would have otherwise been produced had those trips been taken by car.

An electric assist Jump bike on display at Monday’s press conference

While companies like Jump, who was acquired by Uber in May, and Lyft may be funded by companies that rely on cars to make a profit, still hope that their scooters will reduce the number of trips people take in cars.

“With our bike and scooter efforts, we are hoping to reduce the number of cars on the road, increase public transportation trips and provide equitable transportation options, said David Fairbank Market Manager for Lyft Bikes & Scooters in Los Angeles.

The pilot program, which begins today, will last for sixteen months. For information on the Shared Mobility Pilot Program visit www.smgov.net/sharedmobility. 

Related Posts

Martin Cadillac Redevelopment Takes Shape on Olympic Near Bundy

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

West Edge development underway near Expo/Bundy station By Sam Catanzaro Wood and concrete framing is now visible at the Martin...

Sheriff Villanueva Announces Plan to Clear Encampments by July 4th

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team visits Venice Boardwalk Tuesday By Sam Catanzaro Deputies were on the Venice Beach Boardwalk Tuesday...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

Annenberg Beach House Set for Reopening

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

Community beach house begins reopening June 15 for splash pad, stand up paddle and courtyard The Annenberg Community Beach House...

Letters to Editor: Main Street Closures

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

The following are two letters sent to the Santa Monica Mirror, one in support and one in opposition, regarding a...

Man Attempts to Cut Throat at St. Monica’s Coffee Shop

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Victim in stable condition following Monday morning incident By Sam Catanzaro A man is in stable condition after cutting himself...

Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? Santa Monica Beat – June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? * Police Make Two Arrests...

Santa Monica City Council to Consider Main Street Traffic Closure

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

City staff recommending closure of the roughly 1,000 feet between Hill Street and Kinney Avenue  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica...

Artists Featured For SaMo Pride Rainbow Road Art Walk

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

In honor of Pride month Santa Monica Pride (SaMo Pride) is featuring a Rainbow Road Art Walk from June 4th-...

Santa Monica Affordable Housing Development Takes Shape

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Pacific Landing apartments underway at Lincoln and Pacific  By Sam Catanzaro A $28 million affordable housing development is taking shape...