L.A. Opens Debate on Rules for Electric Scooters, Bike-Share Companies

A man rides a motorized Bird scooter toward Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice in this undated photo. (Credit: Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

A man rides a motorized Bird scooter toward Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice in this undated photo. (Credit: Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

With electric scooters and short-term bicycle rentals continuing to flood the Westside, Los Angeles city officials have begun to discuss how to regulate the transportation companies to minimize cluttered sidewalks and ensure rider safety.

The Transportation Department proposed a one-year test program Wednesday that would limit each company — including the start-ups Bird, LimeBike and Jump Bikes — to no more than 2,500 vehicles within city limits, and would impose strict rules for parking and data sharing.

The motorized scooters typically cost $1 to rent, plus 15 cents per minute during the ride, and have exploded in popularity in Southern California’s beach cities, racking up thousands of trips within months. A more flexible and chaotic form of bicycle sharing, which enables users to pick up and drop off bikes anywhere, is also gaining popularity.

The influx of wheeled vehicles has sparked complaints from Westside residents who say speeding users have collided with pedestrians and careless parkers have blocked sidewalks and doorways.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.