El Segundo watches a huge Santa Monica scooter vote. On Thursday, Santa Monica made it official as to which companies the city would allow to operate scooters. Originally Santa Monica was only going to allow two companies to operate within the city. After some lobbying, the city decided to open it up to four.
Much like El Segundo, Santa Monica had become a free-for-all with the scooters. It was turning into mayhem so the city reeled it in. They decided to narrow it down to a select few companies and set some regulations for a trial period. El Segundo was proposing a similar program but the companies never responded in a timely fashion so El Segundo took a time out from scooterville.
Bird, Lime, Lyft and Jump (which is owned by Uber) will be granted access to the city. They were in a group of 12 companies that applied to be a part of the program. Interestingly enough, neither Lyft nor Jump currently operate scooters.
For Santa Monica’s pilot program, Bird and Lime will be able to operate 750 scooters each. The other two companies check in with 250 each. This will bring a total of 2,000 scooters on the street.
The companies will pay the city $20,000 each as an annual operating fee. They will each pay $130 per scooter annually as well. This will mean a total of $340,000 to the city.
At one point it didn’t look like Bird and Lime were going to get in. It got so bad that both companies protested by cutting off the software on the scooters in the city for a day to render them dead.
The pilot program starts Sept. 17 and goes for 16 months. Lyft and Jump will also be able to operate 500 bicycles on the same program as well.
El Segundo had wanted to do the same type of a plan. First it was just Bird dropping into the city unannounced. Then, after a City Council meeting, Lime decided to join them and the war was on. It soon got out of control and this lead to El Segundo taking a time out from everything. Both companies were ordered to pick up their scooters and they did.
As of now there is no word as to a return date for the scooters in El Segundo. One of the sticking points was adding the City to the insurance policy’s of the companies. The City felt it need way more coverage than the $1-million being offered.
El Segundo now sits in the driver’s seat as far as putting a deal together is concerned. Their northern neighbor, Santa Monica, has forged the way into the scooter world and the ball is in El Segundo’s court whether they want to follow.