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Oklahoma City Council approves new rental scooter ordinance
The Oklahoma City Council voted Tuesday to approve a new ordinance for dockless motorized scooters, formalizing a license and permit process for rental companies.
The ordinance was introduced in August with a public hearing in September, and the final vote was deferred four times.
There are no changes in the new ordinance for riders. Rules and and safety recommendations for riders are already in place:
- Riders can’t use a scooter on a sidewalk or trail. Bike lanes and streets are OK.
- Riders must follow normal traffic rules, like stopping at stop lights and stop signs.
- Riders must always yield to pedestrians. Watch for pedestrians coming out of buildings or from between parked cars.
- Riders are encouraged to park the scooters close to the curb, or next to a bike rack. Please don’t block the sidewalk, especially in places that would make it difficult for a person with disabilities to use the sidewalk.
- Riders are encouraged to follow guidelines and instructions from the scooter business.
About the new ordinance
Scooter companies must get a newly created Share Vehicle System License, whether or not they are already doing business in Oklahoma City.
Each day by 7 a.m., the licensees may put the scooters on dock sites that require revocable permits, which companies doing business now in Oklahoma City are already using for their scooters. Users don’t need to use the dock sites when they finish a ride, but can’t block the sidewalk when parking their scooter.
Companies are limited to a maximum number of 75 scooters per fleet, and can expand the fleet by 25 scooters up to a total of 250 scooters by providing data to the City that shows demand exceeding the current fleet’s supply.
The companies may also work with the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority to use dock sites at transit stops. Those scooters won’t count against the fleet size cap.
The City may request that the licensee uses geo-fences – GPS or RFID technology creating a virtual boundary that triggers a response by the scooter if it enters a fenced area – preventing the scooters from use in certain prohibited areas. These areas are shown to users on the smartphone apps needed to use the scooters.
Licensees are required to relocate vehicles left in unauthorized public places within two hours of notification, and within one hour if left in an unauthorized place on private property.
Licensees must submit monthly records to the City showing usage statistics like the number of rides and mileage, plus reports of collisions and customer comments or complaints.
The annual fee for the license is $302, plus a $30 annual fee per scooter. Licensees would be required to have general liability insurance with limits of at least $175,000 per person for bodily injury, and at least $1 million per occurrence.
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