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Uber pulls Jump scooters from San Diego, citing frustration with city's new rules

Joshua Emerson Smith, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Business News

SAN DIEGO -- Uber announced on Thursday that it's pulling nearly all of its Jump branded e-bikes and scooters out of San Diego, based largely on frustrations over the city's new regulations governing dockless mobility devices.

The company said in a statement that it will maintain operations at naval bases San Diego and Point Loma, adding "We look forward to working with the city to develop more sensible regulations."

The city approved a suite of rules for dockless scooter and bicycle companies in April, including a permitting process, fees, and mandatory data sharing, as well as speed and parking restrictions in designated areas.

Companies are now required to apply for a six-month permit with a fixed cost of roughly $5,000 and an annual per-device fee of $150. Operators must declare a vehicle-fleet size when applying for a permit and not exceed that, other than for special events.

The city's rules also force riders to scroll through and manually acknowledge state vehicle laws before each ride, as well as require motorized scooters to carry a label that reads: "Riding on sidewalks is prohibited."

At the same time, the city has threatened to revoke the permit of another e-scooter company, Lime. The Bay Area-based company, which continues to operate in San Diego, is now awaiting a hearing date to determine its fate in the city.

City officials have maintained that Lime failed to follow speed-limit regulations in designated parts of the city, including along the boardwalk and in Balboa Park. Mobility companies are required to comply using GPS technology known as "geofencing" that slows down a device in target locations.

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San Diego also recently went through a dust-up with e-bike company Wheels. The city ordered the company to remove their devices from city streets in July, saying the "motorized bicycles" were not allowed under its new rules. Wheels has since made modifications to their bikes and is once again operating in the city legally.

The city issued the following statement:

"San Diego put rules in place to protect the quality of life in our neighborhoods, hold operators accountable, and above all, ensure the highest level of public safety on our streets. We appreciate scooter operators who are taking these regulations seriously and who have made compliance a priority."

(c)2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune

Visit The San Diego Union-Tribune at www.sandiegouniontribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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