SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency voted on Tuesday, July 16 for the e-scooter permit program in the city to become permanent. The vote was 4-2 during the SFMTA board of directors meeting.

The 12-month pilot permit program went into effect in October 2018. The program permitted the companies, Skip and Scoot, to operate in the city and have a total of 1,250 scooters each on the streets.

The permanent program will give the SFMTA additional power when it comes to e-scooters in the city. The SFMTA can ask companies if they want to become e-scooter vendors in San Francisco.  It will be left up to interim chief Tom Maguire how many permits will be allowed to e-scooter companies each year. 

The SFMTA will draw up a map for companies to operate within, a change from the pilot program where companies were allowed to draw their own. It allows scooter companies to own and operate up to 2,500 scooters.

Some other changes to the program include: 

  • Required locks for scooters to be locked at bike racks. 
  • Companies will pay a fee for the installation of new bike racks to accommodate more scooters. 
  • Visible identification numbers on scooters for users to report complaints.
  • A better safety and incident database. 
  • Commitment to a low-income program.
  • 24-hour call center for users to voice their complaints. 

The permanent program will go into effect in October 2019 when the pilot program is set to end.