Santa Monica launches electric scooter program

If you were not a fan of the two scooter rideshare companies in Santa Monica, then you will really dislike four.

In a joint press conference with Santa Monica's Mayor, the CEO of JUMP, and Market Manager of Lyft, the two companies announced they are each launching 750 devices. The total of 1,500 devices will add to the existing 1,500 Lime and Bird devices already on the street.

"We've had them a whole year and there are many issues," said Harriet Epstein, a Santa Monica resident, of Lime and Bird. Her biggest concern revolves around safety.

"My number one issue is riding on sidewalks," she said. "It's up to the city to make sure people can walk safely and not get mowed down."

Some scooters can travel upwards of 15 miles per hour and some disregard rules by riding them on the sidewalk and without helmets

"It's an L.A. thing," joked Qawand Robinson, a local resident. "We don't believe in helmets."

The better start because the City's Mayor Ted Winterer said Monday that the city has already handed out more than 1,000 tickets. The other concern moving forward is where and how people are leaving them after completing a ride.

Lyft's David Fairbank says the company is working with the city to get scooter docks installed on each block to encourage people from dumping them randomly on the sidewalk. In fact, other companies are working on something similar, and even contemplating an incentive program for those who go out of their way to put them at docking stations.

Each rideshare company will have to pay the city $20,000 to operate in town as part of a 16-month agreement. They are also required to pay $130 per device that operates on the street.

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