OakDOT Announces Permits for Shared E-Scooters
Four operators will be deploying up to 3,500 total scooters, required to educate users on safety
Oakland, CA – The City of Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) announced today the issuing of the City’s first official e-scooter permits. The permits will allow four operators to provide the popular shared mobility service while holding them accountable to concerns voiced by Oakland residents. The four operators selected are:
Each company’s permit application was reviewed by a team of City staff, who determined the eligibility of these operators based on an ordinance passed by the City Council in September 2018. To prioritize and incorporate the needs and concerns of the Oakland community, the ordinance required operators to educate users on the correct and safe use of scooters, distribute the scooters equitably throughout Oakland, ensure accessibility, provide insurance and indemnification, and more.
Operators can launch their scooter fleets as early as the week of July 1st, but companies may take several months to deploy their scooters. A cap of 3,500 scooters has been set for the initial deployment period with Bird, Lime and Lyft able to deploy up to 1,000 scooters each, and Clevr deploying a smaller fleet size in the near future. Adaptive scooters that allow people with disabilities to ride will also be made available in the coming year.
Before finalizing the permit system, OakDOT staff led a series of community meetings with residents. At a City-convened community forum in October, scooter companies presented their scooter plans to the public and responded to questions and concerns that arose. In November and December, OakDOT held listening sessions that focused solely on how the community would like to see the scooters incorporated into their neighborhoods, and how they can work together to make this program equitable.
Shared e-scooters are the newest transportation option for commuting in Oakland, providing an affordable, portable option for residents, commuters, and visitors. E-scooters provide a “last mile” solution, addressing a specific challenge in transportation planning.
In the listening sessions, residents expressed that scooters are fun, convenient, environmentally friendly, and economical. However, they also expressed that scooters can be dangerous, clutter sidewalks, and need more regulation. Oaklanders emphasized that they would like to see more scooters in places like West and East Oakland – where transit options are often inadequate – and near parks, libraries, and plazas.
The Scooter Shared Operator permit has incorporated the concerns of the communities through the many regulations embedded within the permit process.
All permit holders will be added to the City’s OAK 311 service, to allow staff and the public to report and monitor complaints of improper parking and other issues. To report online or through the OAK311 app – click report, provide a photo of the faulty or mis-parked scooter, select a location, scroll to the “bicycle or scooter” category, click the corresponding company, and finally provide a short description of the issue. Complaints will be forwarded to the appropriate company representative.
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