Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

City Says Scooter Applications are Pending, Denies Any Item is on the Agenda for Tonight

"All Birds are unrideable today and will return depending on the outcome of the City Hall meeting on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.," the e-mail read.

 

August 13, 2018

City won't give contracts to Bird

8/14: In a press release, the City of Santa Monica denies that it has frozen Bird and Lime companies out of the process. It says scooter decisions will be made after August 30th, and not tonight at the 8/14 City Council meeting. https://www.smobserved.com/story/2018/08/13/news/city-issues-update-on-the-shared-mobility-pilot-program-in-santa-monica/3591.html

Those using the Bird Scooter app in Santa Monica Monday night got a pink not working signal from the company. Why? Because the company's leadership is pissed off about an apparent move by the City to place new restrictions on the rentable electric scooters.

"It's a back lash against the heavy handed way they came to town," said one local resident. "Bird and Lime just put their scooters on local sidewalks, without getting permits or asking anyone. This earned them the undying hatred of most older Santa Monica residents," he said.

The company has announced it will suspend operations in Santa Monica, pending a vote by the City Council Tuesday night. Then, the SM City Council will porobably follow a staff recommendation to allow only two other companies to operate in town--not Bird or Lime.

Monday morning, Lime Scooters sent out this e mail: Unfortunately we have some concerning news regarding our ability to continue operating our scooters in Santa Monica. On Friday, the city of Santa Monica released its recommendation for their Shared Mobility Pilot Program. Despite being the most experienced dock-free operator in the United States, including locally in Santa Monica for months, city staff has recommended in favor of two ride-hailing companies that have never operated scooters in any city.

Lime’s shared scooter network in Santa Monica has been a model for the nation and we have worked closely with the city to meet the needs of residents and visitors, as well as helped the city move toward more pollution-free transportation. We feel our work in the Santa Monica community warrants a reconsideration of this recommendation.

The best way you can help is by letting the city know you want Lime to stay in Santa Monica. We are gathering on Tuesday at 5pm outside City Hall and encourage Lime supporters to tell the City Council directly at their meeting afterward.

According to an e-mail sent out by Bird Monday night, a committee recommended giving control of the electric scooters in the city of Santa Monica to two ride-sharing companies for Santa Monica's electric scooter pilot program, which launches in September.

The Santa Monica Daily Press reported that the committee recommended awarding contracts for Lyft and Jump (which is owned by Uber) Friday to launch their electric bike and scooter operations in Santa Monica--Not Bird and Lyme.

In response, Santa Monica-based Bird Scooters suddenly shut down their operations on Monday afternoon.

 
 

Reader Comments
(3)

Frankie writes:

That's pretty crappy! I mean that's beyond scandalous! The least they could do is work with Bird, since they introduced the scooters to Santa Monica. But Santa Monica WILL punish anyone opening up any kind of business in their community, without their approval or permit. They are known for that. But Uber and Lyft? Really? Give it to the start up company that introduced it...give them a chance not someone else coming in late in the game. Bird introduced it, made it fun...work with Bird!

Safetyfirst writes:

No scooters should be on sidewalks no matter what brand they are. Enough is enough.

Kmitc writes:

What a great idea. Award two companies with little to no “working” experience and hope for a better outcome. Where is the logic? I’m not a huge fan of the scooters but Bird and Lime sure have been trying hard to meet the needs of the people/officials of Santa Monica. These two companies laid the groundwork and take all the criticism while two new companies stroll in and take the spoils. Something isn’t right here

 
 
 

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