Policy

A Statement on the Santa Monica Permit Process

Last Friday, the City of Santa Monica’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program selection committee recommended that both of the two available scooter permits go to Uber and Lyft. We think that it would be a troubling precedent to give two corporations complete control over all shared mobility, especially when they have yet to operate dockless scooters. At the same time, we disagree with some of our competitors that permits should go to companies that have consistently and recklessly flouted local regulations in the name of growth at all costs. In short, disrespecting cities should not be rewarded. And the selection committee was specifically tasked with evaluating, among other criteria, each vendor’s history of compliance across the country, not just in Santa Monica.

It’s hard to keep count, but, at press time, we have recorded 33 separate rogue launches across the United States, in places like Cambridge, Detroit, and, most recently, Charleston. As an industry, we need to respect that cities are working overtime to put thoughtful regulations in place to ensure their citizens’ safety and well-being. We have the opportunity to collaborate in a productive manner. However, it concerns us that our competitors are instead trying to distort the public process by inviting users to rally at unrelated city council meetings, spamming public servants, and asking forgiveness for antagonizing cities.

We appreciate the selection committee for ranking Spin as the top-ranked scooter-focused company due to strong scores in compliance, public education, and parking and safety. The next step in the process is for the City’s Director of Planning and Community Development to review the recommendations and public comment to make a final decision. In reaching his final decision, we hope the Director will take our history of working collaboratively with local regulators, as well as our experience running dockless mobility systems in medium-sized markets like Lexington, KY, and Flagstaff, AZ, into account.

At Spin, we measure ourselves by the relationships we are building with cities, campuses, and local riders. Cities and campuses have responded to our Partnership Promise so far by granting Spin with an industry-leading ten scooter permits including six exclusive markets. Spin has uniquely demonstrated its commitment to being good community partners and responsible operators in the dockless mobility industry. Despite all the noise, it’s only the first inning of revolutionizing last-mile transportation. We have conviction that our approach will pay off in the end.

Spin on!

The Spin Public Policy Team

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