SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – The streets of San Francisco on Monday were mostly free of what some see as a two-wheeled nuisance with the arrival of the deadline for electric scooter companies to remove their vehicles from public roads.
June 4 was established as the day the start-up companies offering the dockless electric scooters for rent via an app to get the scooters off the streets in compliance with the newly imposed ban.
“The application for the permit requires these companies ensure their users follow the law as it’s written,” said Paul Rose of the SFMTA.
Rose says the city received roughly 1,800 complaints about dockless scooters popping up in inappropriate places since they launched in March.
So the city cracked down, ordering a cease and desist requiring all three companies – Spin, Limebike, and Bird – to pull the scooters and apply for a permit in which they agree to follow city rules.
That means riders have to travel in the bike lane with a helmet and dock the scooters in a way that won’t block the sidewalk.
“People didn’t know what they were doing. They weren’t being careful, so it was just another flying by thing you had to look out for,” said San Francisco resident Meija Jacobs.
People are divided on whether the scooters belong in the city. While Jacobs said they were potentially dangerous, fellow SF resident Sudheer Velpula disagreed.
“I think it’s a good option, so I hope they stay or come back,” said Velpula.
If you open the apps Monday, users will see the scooters are gone.
Bird offers riders the option to petition the city to bring the scooters back with an email to SFMTA or a phone call to 311.
Rose said the scooters could come back, but only if they follow the rules.
“But at the end of the day, we want to provide a safe option for people who use these scooters,” said Rose. “We want to make sure people using the scooters can do so safely and the people walking along the sidewalk can do that safely.”