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Lime to keep San Diego operating permit after hearing denies city's petition

Lime recalls scooters in San Diego over battery fire concerns
Posted at 6:03 PM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 21:29:42-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Lime can still operate its dockless scooters and bikes in San Diego, after the city's petition to revoke the company's permit was denied.

Tuesday, a hearing officer reportedly refused the city's petition to revoke Lime's Shared Mobility Device (SMD) permit. The city argued that Lime violated municipal code on several occasions.

“Lime is pleased with today’s decision and we appreciate the hearing officer for recognizing our compliance in San Diego. As San Diego’s longest serving operator, we value our partnership with the City and look forward to continuing to serve the community," Lime said in a statement.

RELATED: City Council committee OKs changes to dockless scooter, bike law

In August, Lime was made aware of the city's intent to revoke their SMD permit after they said the company failed to address speeding violations within the city's geofenced areas. A letter to Lime from the city's Development Services Department claimed the company had violated San Diego Municipal Code on July 13, July 14, and Aug 1.

Dockless scooters and bikes are required to have a 8 mph speed restriction in high-traffic areas areas like Spanish landing and near Petco park, and as low as 3 mph along the Embarcadero and the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

"The Mayor has made it abundantly clear that operators who don’t follow rules meant to protect public safety could lose their permit and no longer do business in San Diego anymore. That’s exactly what is being done in this case," a statement from the city said.

Lime argued that they were in fact in compliance, adding at the time "it is unfortunate they have chosen to move forward with this hearing" and offering to demonstrate their compliance to the city in a letter from Lime to Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

After approving an initial package of rules in April, the city council is set to consider adding new regulations on dockless scooters and bicycles, including:

  • A rider curfew from midnight to 5 a.m.;
  • Usage of one device per government ID;
  • A fine structure and punitive actions for companies that violate regulations;
  • Eliminating the original ordinance's provision that allows for temporary fleet spikes during large events;
  • Authorizing the city to reduce a company's fleet size if it poses a public safety hazard;
  • Authorizing the city to suspend a company outright for multiple violations; and
  • Requiring the eventual use of geofencing technology to keep riders from traversing the city's sidewalks.