Santa Monica inaugurates electric scooter pilot program

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Monica ushered in its electric scooter pilot program Monday, a plan that incorporates four companies to operate electric scooters and motorized bikes in the city.

Under the pilot program, 2,000 motorized scooters and 1,000 motorized bikes hit the streets.

The city signed off on four operators to take part in the 16-month "Shared Mobility Pilot Program." Bird, Lime, Lyft and Jump, which Uber acquired in April, received the contract.

"With this 16-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," Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer said at a news conference Monday.

Not everyone agrees with the electric devices getting the full green light from the city to drive around the streets.

Detractors of the electric devices worry about their safety and where the dockless devices are being left after use.

Others in support mention the devices' environmentally-friendly method of transportation.

There are rules that the city wants enforced. E-riders must wear helmets, ride only on bike paths along streets and obey traffic laws. Riders are forbidden from traveling on sidewalks.

The city is calling on the police department and code enforcement division to enforce the illegal use of electric devices on beach bike paths, parks and the Santa Monica Pier.
Copyright © 2021 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.