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Berkeley Expands Public Transportation With Scooter Program – Berkeley High Jacket

Berkeley City Council on Sept. 28 approved a set of regulations for the micromobility industry in Berkeley, which means e-bike and scooter companies could soon legally distribute these electric transportation options in Berkeley.

On July 10, 2018, city council approved a referral from the city manager to consider allowing electric scooter companies to distribute electric scooters in Berkeley.

Berkeley City Council proposed a terms and conditions policy for a shared electric scooter pilot franchise in December 2018 that would set rules for electric bicycle and scooter businesses. The city then asked for proposals in January 2019 to solicit applications for a shared electric scooter pilot franchise.

Before the city council could accept candidates for this franchise, the city attorney’s office was informed of several class actions in California. These lawsuits have been filed against several cities alleging the impact on accessibility of disabled people of electric scooters authorized in their cities. When Oakland was also sued over accessibility for people with disabilities, Berkeley postponed the franchise pending the outcome of legal restrictions or regulations.

The Oakland lawsuit was resolved in April 2021, and the settlement agreement was finalized and incorporated into the proposed shared electric micromobility license program.

The shared electric micromobility permit program would allow operators (scooter and e-bike companies) to distribute their products and make them available to the public in Berkeley. Permits for the program would be issued annually, and up to 3 different companies will be allowed to distribute their products in Berkeley.

Berkeley City Council also believes the project will help them meet their goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80%.

“The increase in the number of residents and visitors to Berkeley who use shared scooters and e-bikes, as an alternative to single-occupant car travel, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dee Williams- Ridley, Director of the City of Berkeley.

Williams-Ridley was also concerned about the impact of not enforcing legalizations for electric bicycles and scooters.

“By not having a shared electric micromobility permit program, Berkeley could have a harder time meeting the goals of its climate action plan,” said Williams-Ridley.

This project will involve a fee, which will be paid by private companies wishing to operate bike or scooter sharing programs in Berkeley. The fees include an application fee of $ 1,500, an annual license fee of $ 15,000 and a fee of $ 64 per mobility device. These costs will contribute to a general public works fund.

With the implementation of the Shared Electric Micromobility Permit program, many students at Berkeley High School (BHS) will be able to get around school using electric bikes or scooters.

Although this program allows students to come and return from school, California law states that riders of electric bicycles or scooters must be at least 16 years of age and have a driver’s license or license. These restrictions limit accessibility to many BHS students; however, for students who qualify to ride scooters or e-bikes, it may allow them to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, while getting to and from school.

With regulations and program approval, eligible BHS students may be able to use electric scooters or bikes as early as November.

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