City to Revisit Bike Share, Electric Scooters at Tuesday Meeting

Published : Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | 5:27 AM

When it comes to “shared mobility,” Pasadena appears poised to give bike-sharing another go, while holding firm on its current electric scooter ban.

Those are two takeaways from a report that Pasadena Transportation Director Fred Dock will present to the Municipal Services Committee on April 9.

According to the report, though no longer a member, Pasadena will participate in a pedal-assist/fully electric bike program funded by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCG).

The California Transportation Commission awarded SGVCG a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Grant to expand bike share throughout its jurisdiction.

The council chose Gotcha Mobility LLC, to launch, operate and maintain the program a three-year program with option to extend for two additional two-years terms if it so desires.

According to Gotcha Mobility, starting this summer, it will roll out 1000 e-bikes in San Gabriel Valley municipalities, the largest number of cities for one bike share vendor in the United States.

“Getting dozens of cities to organize a unified bike share system is a bold and progressive idea — exactly what’s needed to tackle pressing issues like air quality and congested streets,” said Sean Flood, chief executive officer, Gotcha Mobility.

According to relative SGVCG documents, the system should allow bikes to be returned to an existing rack or specified parking location. A minimum of 40 percent must be enabled with pedal assist or fully electric technology. At least 420 bicycles are to serve disadvantaged communities.

The SGVCG will establish a working group of participating cities to develop their own ordinances to manage the vendor within their jurisdiction. Announcement of the program is slated to take place at the Golden Streets event May 19.

Participating cities include: Pomona, Arcadia, Covina, South El Monte, San Dimas, Duarte, La Verne, Monterey Park, El Monte, and Pasadena.

With all that said, transportation staff will develop an up-or-down recommendation on participating in the program for the City cCouncil.

The City’s prior experience with the idea, a bike sharing pilot partnership with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, almost busted the City’s transportation budget, and a withdrawal was done.

As for electric scooters, Dock’s report said, the City will continue the “wait and see” approach it adopted in October 2018, which translates into a continuation of the current ban on the devices.

The report reviews the efforts of other cities in the region to cope with the new technology which, at its best, provides an emission-free way of closing first- and last-mile gaps around transit stations.

Dock noted that maintaining public safety has been the primary challenge for those jurisdictions that have permitted e-scooters in their public right of way.

Said the report: “[T]he delayed permitting of e-scooters are giving agencies time to develop a set of policies, procedures, and regulations to help cities and shared mobility devices co-exist.

“City officials will need to determine whether and how many shared mobility devices are allowed, where they will be deployed and parked, and how they can be managed to ensure safety and public accessibility.”

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