Business & Economy

In a last-minute swerve, Santa Monica decides on a light touch for electric scooter regulation

Bird and Lime scooters sit parked in front of a building on April 17, 2018 in San Francisco.
Bird and Lime scooters sit parked in front of a building on April 17, 2018 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Santa Monica was the first city to ever see electric scooters from Silicon Beach startup Bird popping up on city sidewalks. The dockless vehicles have quickly caught on with riders, but they've also become a nuisance to many residents. 

On Tuesday night, Santa Monica city council members chose to regulate the scooter boom with a light touch. They set new fees and rules, but decided against a proposal to cap the number of scooters on city streets at 500 per company. Instead, scooter services will be allowed to keep adding more vehicles as long as they're each getting used about three times per day.