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San Diego changes scooter and e-bike laws, caps amount allowed

San Diego caps the number of scooter companies and limits the amount of scooters on city streets.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego amended the way electric scooter and e-bike companies can operate in the city.

During a Tuesday hearing, city council members unanimously approved several changes to the ordinance which governs shared mobility devices.

The changes include capping the number of scooters from 11,050 citywide to 8,000 as well as limiting the number of providers that can operate in San Diego.

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In addition, the revised ordinance requires scooter companies to ensure riders are over 16 and have valid identification. It also prohibits riders from renting more than one scooter or e-bike at one time. Other amendments include implementing new geofencing needed to keep shared mobility devices off of sidewalks and inside designated parking corrals. 

City council members amended the shared mobility device ordinance as the city navigates several lawsuits. The lawsuits include a 2019 class action complaint filed by Disability Rights California over scooters blocking access to city sidewalks and streets for those in wheelchairs and with mobility issues. 

The city and the disability rights group are scheduled to submit a joint motion to dismiss the class-action lawsuit. Disability Rights California did not respond to a request for comment on the status of the litigation.

Last year, the city also filed a lawsuit against scooter companies that operate in San Diego. The lawsuit aimed to force scooter companies to defend the city in lawsuits filed by riders or those who were hurt in some way by shared mobility devices. That lawsuit is now nearing the end and is listed as dismissed on the state court's website. 

In a statement on the lawsuit, a city spokesperson said the city could not comment on pending litigation.

The city will now move forward with issuing new permits to shared mobility device operators looking to do business in San Diego. That process will begin in July.

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