SAN DIEGO — New regulations for dockless electric scooters, bicycles and the companies that own them went into affect Monday.
The package of regulations, which was passed by the City Council in April, limits the speed of dockless scooters from 15 mph to 8 mph in high-traffic areas like Spanish landing and near Petco park, and as low as 3 mph along the Embarcadero, the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade and the boardwalk in Mission and Pacific Beach.
Scooter companies like Bird, Lime and Razor will now required to use geofencing technology on their scooters to limit speeds and parking abilities in designated areas around the city. Bird already uses geofencing to reduce scooter speeds in areas like the Santa Monica Beach Bike Path.
Scooter riders are banned from parking the devices near hospitals, schools, beach area boardwalks, the Petco Park perimeter and the north and south legs of the Embarcadero. The city is designating scooter parking zones along city streets to decrease the number of scooters parked on sidewalks. In downtown, scooter riders and companies are only able to park devices in groups of four, with at least 40 feet between groups.
The city is also requiring scooter companies to pay $5,000 every six months for an operational permit and pay $150 per scooter or bike each year to continue operating in San Diego. Companies can renew permits in January or June, at which time they could negotiate operating terms like fleet size, which they are not currently required to report to the city.