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A tipped over Bird scooter lies on the beach boardwalk.
After months of trying to figure out what to do about the hundreds of electric scooters that descended on city streets last September, Santa Monica has decided the vehicles can stay.
But there are going to be some rules to follow.
The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to go forward with a 16-month pilot program that will cap the number of rentable, dockless scooters and bicycles allowed in the city. The Southern California city will also limit the number of companies that operate the vehicles, as well as impose fees on the companies.
Popularity - Ease - Mobility - Devices - Santa
"There's no denying the popularity and ease of shared mobility devices that can help Santa Monica reach its goal of being a multi-modal city," Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer said in a statement. "Yet we must balance that with a serious need to hold companies accountable to ensure responsible behavior on our streets and sidewalks."
Santa Monica was the first city in the US to experience the scooter craze that's now spread across the US. The company Bird first flooded the oceanside town with its vehicles last September -- without warning to local officials or residents. Within days, people were cruising down the beach boardwalk and parking the vehicles wherever they felt like it, blocking sidewalks, storefronts and wheelchair ramps.
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From there, the battle between Bird and the city heated up. Santa Monica told Bird to get a business license, but it reportedly didn't. So then, the City Attorney's Office sued Bird on nine criminal counts. By February, Bird entered a plea agreement with the city and pledged to pay more than $300,000 in fines and secure the proper permits.
One month later, Bird and several other scooter companies began scattering their vehicles across other US cities -- from Nashville to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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