SAN DIEGO – Over 2,500 scooters got picked up and hauled off to a City of San Diego impound lot over the weekend.
They were removed for violating a new city ordinance that prohibits rideshare devices from getting too close to big event areas.
Comic-Con drew tens of thousands of people over the weekend, many of them deciding to use rideshare devices at some point. Unfortunately, most had no idea they weren’t allowed to bring them near the convention center.
“We had a geofenced area where we weren’t allowing scooters or bikes to be left by companies or users,” said Jose Ysea, a city spokesman.
The city hauled them off and charged the companies $65 a piece to get them back. If you multiply that by the 2,500 total, the city stands to make nearly $200,000.
“We don’t want to make a profit,” Ysea said. “We just want to recover the cost it took to fund the team to go get them.”
So far, Lime confirmed they have paid money — roughly $40,000 — to get over 600 scooters back. The city said Jump has paid to get some of their bikes back too. However, Ysea said Bird has not paid and hasn’t even responded to the city’s inquiry.
“It sucks that the company is being faulted for the consumers using it,” said Janet Fenel, a scooter user who wasn’t aware of the new ordinance. She said the companies could help their own cause by warning riders before they rode them into restricted areas.
“Send out a message in bold text warning riders where not to go,” she said.
She also said if she knew the company could get fined, she would go out of the way to make sure to leave her scooter some place safe. Her friend, however, didn’t agree.
“I’d run the risk,” he admitted, saying it’s not his $65 that’s getting taken away. “It’s really not.”
The other rideshare companies have 30 days to pay the fines and get their devices back.