San Diego

San Diego Impounds 2,500 Scooters Over Comic-Con Weekend

Eight city employees used trucks and earned overtime pay to collect the rentals over the weekend

The city of San Diego impounded approximately 2,500 dockless scooters and bicycles over the weekend of Comic-Con 2019. 

NBC 7 captured video of the rentals Monday after they had been corralled by city crews.  

Crews say the scooters and bicycles were presenting public safety hazards because riders were parking them in areas that blocked sidewalks, walkways, and ramps. 

“We don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Operational Excellence Program Manager Barbara Lamb said. “If these things are left scattered about they are at least a tripping hazard.”

The fine for each of confiscated rental bike or scooter is $65. The hope is that the fee will encourage the device companies to be more proactive about enforcing the rules, according to a city spokesperson.

“We had our whole team down there trying to pick up as many as we can. We’re glad the city was there to help us out,” LIME General Manager Kimia Talebian.

“There was so much volume of riders coming into the city, that when they were parking, there was just to many of them, so it was best to pull them off the street," she added.

LIME representatives told NBC 7 they feature in-app messaging and safety workshops for riders to educate them on the rules.

Eight city employees used trucks and earned overtime pay to collect the rentals over the weekend, while three more workers stayed at the maintenance yard to organize them.

Though the city stands to collect $163,150 in impound fees, Lamb said the city isn't going to make a profit from the operation.

“The purpose of the fee is to cover the city expenses and not to make a profit. We are definitely not making a profit,” said Lamb.

There are several corrals painted at intersections specifically for parking scooters and bikes.

Companies renting dockless vehicles are required to renew permits every six months, a city spokesperson told NBC 7 earlier this month. If a company doesn't comply, they won't be doing business in town. 

Here’s the breakdown of the scooters and bikes that were impounded by company, according to the city:

  • Bird – 1,035
  • Lime – 684
  • Lyft – 444
  • Jump – 41
  • Skip – 28
  • Spin – 17
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