With the recent launch of Skip and Scoot dockless scooter shares here in the City, we would like to propose a model of how local community groups (such as ours) can work with scooter share companies.
We think this is very important because the success (or failure) of dockless scooter shares in San Francisco will ultimately depend on community support.
In doing research for this Partnership Model, we discovered that dockless scooter shares in San Francisco are highly regulated.
For example, in addition to:
(1) new changes in the San Francisco Code: https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/reports-and-documents/2018/04/5-1-18_item_11_pilot_scooter_share_program_permit.docx_.pdf
(2) and a new permitting process: (https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/reports-and-documents/2018/05/powered_scooter_share_program_permit_application.pdf
. . . scooter share operators must now also abide by the new brand new (October 12, 2018) “Permit Terms and Conditions:” https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/reports-and-documents/2018/10/scooter_program_terms_conditions_and_guidline_10.12.18_0.pdf
With respect to the new Permit Terms and Conditions, of interest are Section VI. Safe Riding and Storage of Scooters, specifically Subsection 33, and Section VII. Distribution of Scooters, specifically Subsections 39 and 40. These sections and subsections outline myriad additional requirements for scooter share operators. These additional requirements also offer a good opportunity for community collaboration.
For example, Subsection 40 requires that “[p]ermittee shall provide the SFMTA with a Distribution, Operation and Maintenance Plan that describes Permittee’s commitment to maintain consistent distribution, operations and maintenance and avoid potential disruptions.”
After having reviewed all of the above documents, and especially Sections VI and VII of the above Permit Terms and Conditions, we suggest the following ways that we can help dockless scooter share companies follow the new San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) rules:
WE CAN HELP WITH A SAFETY EDUCATION PLAN
Section VI. Safe Riding and Storage of Scooters, Section 33 states that “Permittee shall be responsible for educating their employees and Powered Scooter Share users regarding state and local laws governing the safe operation [ . . . ] of Powered Scooters in San Francisco.”
The network of 14 Community Business Districts (CBDs) and other Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are uniquely positioned geographically to provide safety training, and pickup and drop off sites for helmets. We can disinfect helmets after return and reissue to other riders.
This would work well since CBDs and CBOs are open during the majority of scooter operating hours. They are also “place-based” organizations, i.e., they have local geographic foci – and thereby have great knowledge of the area(s) in which they are based.
WE CAN HELP WITH A SIDEWALK SAFETY AND PARKING PLAN
Section VII. Distribution of Scooters at Section 39 requires permittees to “stage vehicles at locations in accordance with applicable parking laws and regulations.” Therefore, after community outreach and input, we will submit a suggested parking plan to permittees with designated locations that will follow all laws, and be the least disruptive to businesses and pedestrians.
WE CAN HELP BALANCING IN COMMUNITIES OF CONCERN
Section VII. Distribution of Scooters at Section 40, Subsection B requires scooter share companies to implement a Distribution, Operation and Maintenance Plan that “will insure equitable geographic distribution including how scooters will be frequently redistributed by operations staff to serve as a viable transportation option for all communities in a service area, especially for Communities of Concern which have historically had fewer mobility options.”
Our staff and interns will assist companies with staging and balancing scooters in our existing Community of Concern.
WE CAN HELP WITH EQUIPMENT RETRIEVAL
Section VII. Distribution of Scooters at Section 40, Subsection C requires scooter share companies to address “[h]ow any breakdown in distribution, operation and maintenance will be remedied quickly so as not to impact service by the Permittee to its users, impact public transit, or impede the free flow of traffic [. . .]”
We will respectfully and peacefully retrieve scooters when safe and reasonable. We will further assist in in distribution, operation and maintenance of scooters.
WE CAN HELP WITH JOB TRAINING / LABOR HARMONY
Section VII. Distribution of Scooters at Section 40, Subsection E states that “[t]he permittee shall include a description of the means by which Permittee has considered labor and labor harmony in its operations specifically as it relates to consistent distribution, operation and maintenance, including steps taken to avoid potential disruptions.”
Therefore we will create a job training program tailored to company needs, provide supervision, and ensure labor harmony.
WE CAN HELP WITH SPONSORSHIPS AND BRAND AWARENESS OPPORTUNITIES
We will offer special opportunities for partnerships at local events (murals, art walk, wine walks, music festivals) and sponsorship for our community art gallery/ TLC/ multi-use space program.
WE CAN HELP WITH RAPID RESPONSE TO COMPLAINTS
We will respond to any 311 complaints about scooters and bikes within our district boundary with up to the minute public data transmitted through our proprietary software Bonayo.com.