City Council Approves Electric Scooter Regulations

September 18, 2018 Updated: September 18, 2018

The Oakland City Council formally approved on the night of Sept. 17, an ordinance establishing regulations and requiring permits for shared dockless electric scooters, in light of frequent complaints of reckless riders and scooters left scattered on local sidewalks.

The ordinance will provide “responsible guidelines for scooter companies as they do business in Oakland,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, along with Councilman Noel Gallo an author of the ordinance.

“The requirements deal with a range of problems and potential problems that have occurred, including prohibiting threatening noises, requiring liability insurance and where (scooters) can be deployed,” Kaplan said.

The ordinance also requires dockless scooters to be distributed equitably throughout Oakland, and no less than 50 percent of scooters will have to be deployed in Oakland’s “communities of concern,” with high populations of minority and/or low-income residents.

Several people told the council on the night of Sept. 17, that the scooters have been causing problems. Renata Gray of Oakland said a scooter was recently dumped next to her car door; she not only had to get it out of the way to get into her car, but the scooter left both a dent and a scratch in that car door.

“They’re reckless, and they’re all over the place,” Gray told the council. The scooters are especially common in the downtown area.

Councilman Larry Reid told Gray he concurred. “One of them almost hit me on the sidewalk,” Reid said.

By Sam Richards