San Diego County’s second largest city voted Tuesday to welcome dockless bikes and scooters with open arms.
The Chula Vista City Council voted 5-0 in favor of starting a year-long pilot program that will help city leaders gather data and set regulations.
They plan to look at information like where and how often the scooters and bikes are being used so they can determine how many should be allowed on City Streets.
The maximum amount allowed during the pilot program will be set a 5,000. Each company permitted to have their scooters or bikes in the city will only be allowed 500 units the first month of the program.
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Ricardo Pina is one of the Chula Vistans who sees the benefits of the dockless phenomenon.
“I mean it’s a good alternative to driving, you know, with all the emissions from cars,” Pina said.
But he still has some concerns about safety.
Just last month Esteban Galindo was hit and killed on Third Avenue while riding an electric scooter.
Bill Valle, Director of Engineering and Capital Projects for the city of Chula Vista, said the city will work with the bike and scooter share companies to set speed limits.
“We've got the geofencing regulations so we can work with company to restrict speeds,” Valle said.
Riders will have to abide by the California vehicle code and be 16 years old or older to ride. Riding on sidewalks will be prohibited and if you're under 18 a helmet is required.
City leaders also suggested everyone exercise common sense.
“It’s like driving a car. You want people to pay attention and be alert when you’re driving a car and not texting or doing something else. It’s the same with a scooter. Use them smartly."
Scooter and bike share companies will be required to share ridership data and prove that all of their units are being utilized before more can be deployed.
Chula Vista resident Sarah Carillo isn’t worried as much about street clutter as she is about riders being responsible.
“I don’t think it’s much of a clutter. I mean, I think if you can be responsible enough to ride it, you can be responsible enough to put it somewhere not in the way.”
The city expects to collect at least $70,000 from the bike and scooter companies during the pilot program.
That money will be used to analyze data and could be used to help pay for bike lanes and designated parking spaces.