The City of San Diego has initiated the process for revoking dockless scooter company Lime’s operation permit.
The city’s Development Services Department (DSD) sent a letter to Lime Friday notifying Lime of its intent to revoke the company’s Shared Mobility Device (SMD) Permit based on violations of municipal code.
Lime was found in violation of the city’s scooter geofencing, speed and operating restrictions rules on July 13, July 14, and Aug. 1, according to the letter.
On May 14, the city passed an ordinance for dockless bike and scooter regulations that went into effect June 1. Geofencing rules include restrictions on riding devices in certain areas, and in some cases call for a speed limit of 3 or 8 mph depending on the zone. It also restricts riders from ending rides and parking the devices in some areas.
Lime said it responded to the city's concerns by creating on-street corrals encouraging riders to stay off the sidewalks. It also said Lime staff have been sent out on the streets to help promote safe riding.
The company also launched a "Dont drink and ride" detection feature in its app which alerts riders after 10 p.m. to confirm they are not on the devices while under the influence.
The DSD requested a hearing to initiate the SMD permit revocation process but it has yet to be scheduled. Lime's permit will remain in place until a decision by a code enforcement hearing officer has been made and the process ends.
"We have informed the City we are compliant and it is unfortunate they have chosen to move forward with this hearing. As the longest-serving operator with more than 3 million rides in San Diego alone, we will continue to focus on creating a safe environment for all," a spokesperson for Lime told NBC 7.
The company said it has also requested to prove all of its safeguards in person with city representatives but hasn't heard back.
It is illegal for any dockless device company to operate in the city of San Diego without a SMD permit.
NBC 7 has reached out to the city to find out if other dockless device companies should be expecting any letters, and if the city plans to meet with Lime before the hearing.
SMD permits are issued by the City Manager in January and July only and last for six months. Companies must wait at least six months from the date of their permit revocation until they can reapply for a new one.
The city says companies that have their SMD permits revoked will have 10 days to cease device operation within the city and retrieve any impounded devices ($65 per device impound fee). If the company fails to remove or retrieve its devices, the city can dispose of them at the operating company’s cost.