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Lime Scooter Holds Onto Operating Permit in San Diego

The city of San Diego's petition to revoke Lime Scooter's operating permit was denied Dec. 3

Lime Scooter is holding onto its operating permit in San Diego.

The city's petition to revoke the electric scooter company's permit was denied Dec. 3, according to court documents.

A revocation hearing was scheduled after the city claimed Lime violated geofencing rules set forth in city permit guidelines established in July.

Specifically, the city accused Lime of disobeying geofencing rules that limit scooter speeds in certain areas around town. Scooters are limited to 8 mph in areas like beach boardwalks, Balboa Park and Petco Park. Other areas like the embarcadero and food plaza in Little Italy have a 3-mph speed limit.

Hearing Officer Matthew Freeman determined the city's accusations were based on speedometer reading on scooters, and found that the city never investigated the accuracy of the speedometers. Freeman's report also said the city failed to establish that its own speed testing of scooters took place within geofenced zones.

“Lime is pleased with today’s decision and we appreciate the hearing officer for recognizing our compliance in San Diego. As San Diego’s longest serving operator, we value our partnership with the City and look forward to continuing to serve the community," Lime Scooter said in a statement.

Freeman also denied the city's request for Lime to pay around $842 in administrative costs.

"We respect the decision and look forward to adopting enhanced scooter regulations, which have already been presented to committee, that give the City even more tools to enforce public safety laws and keep our streets and sidewalks safe," city spokesperson Scott Robinson said.

When the revocation process began this summer, attorneys for Lime immediately voiced strong procedural concerns. 

“We have been asking the city for months for guidelines. It feels like we’re being set up for an unfair process,” Lime’s lead attorney, Leslie Devaney, said in October.

Devaney is a former Assistant City Attorney with the city of San Diego.

Lime’s concerns seemed to take Freeman by surprise, and he convinced both sides to allow him 30 days to make a decision following the hearing though the city municipal code calls for a decision to be made in 10.

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