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Santa Monica E-Scooters Now Blocked From Some Places By A Virtual Fence

A man and woman ride a shared dockless electric scooter along Venice Beach on Aug. 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Under Santa Monica rules, only one rider is allowed per a scooter. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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The scooters get to stay in Santa Monica for now, but under conditions set out by officials flooded by complaints about the shared mobility devices.

Santa Monica officially kicked off its shared mobility program Monday with this photo op.

Bird, Lime, JUMP and Lyft are the four companies that will be part of the 16-month program. Each will get to operate 750 vehicles, and a newly-formed community advisory group will give feedback to each of the companies about how the pilot is going.

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The first order of business is user education. That comes in the form of more notifications in the device apps and signs around Santa Monica with rules for riding. Those rules include:

JUMP shared bicycles are lined up as Santa Monica launches its mobility devices pilot program.

  • wearing a helmet (Bird has given away more than 50,000 helmets as part of the new user education plan.)
  • carrying a driver's license
  • one person per scooter
  • riding in bike lanes and in the streets rather than on the sidewalks
  • and storing them properly when riders are finished

The other condition is geofencing. That's a fancy way of saying that the shared device will know where it is in town and slow down or stop when it enters a place it's not allowed to go. Then the user will receive a notification telling them to turn around.
While some of the rules aren't new, city officials say police will issue citations for violations. They've issued over 1,000 so far, and the fines run around $200.

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