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Companies try to recover scooters seized during Comic-Con weekend

Posted at 12:07 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 15:08:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The city of San Diego seized hundreds of dockless scooters and bikes from the downtown area during Comic-Con weekend, and companies are scrambling to get them back onto the streets.

The removal over the weekend was part of the city’s new ordinance that calls for dockless scooters and bicycles to be parked where others don’t get hurt.

Over 2,500 scooters and bikes were seized over the weekend, and the devices are all being stored at the city’s operation yard in Balboa Park.

The city is giving the shared mobility companies a chance to pick them up before they are taken to the city’s impound yard in Miramar. However, to get them back, the companies must pay a fee.

“Under the new ordinance, the city collects $65 per impounded device plus $1 per day storage fee,” said Barbara Lamb with the city’s Environmental Services Division. “Because we’re dealing with so many devices during Comic-Con, we’re not paying attention to the $1 fee.”

In total, the companies will be paying over $162,000.

Under the new ordinance, the devices are to be parked inside of designated squares on the streets, and not on the sidewalks. Once the city gets a report about illegally parked scooters, it is the company’s responsibility to pick them up. If not, the city will impound them.

Crews from the shared mobility company Lime were out Monday morning picking up their scooters.

“I live here, too. I understand what all the complaints are about, I understand why the city is doing what they’re doing,” said Kimia Talebian, West Division General Manager for Lime. “We want to be the operator of choice. With the new regulations that they put on, we’re happy to comply with them.”

The city is relying on the companies to notify their riders of the designated spots to park the devices via the companies’ mobile apps.

City officials have been in contact with all of the shared mobility companies. Some have attempted to pick up their devices Monday morning, but the city is waiting on their payments.