Companies operating electric scooters in Atlanta will have their business permits extended on a month-to-month basis as the city works on new rules to govern them.
Atlanta City Council approved the change at Monday’s meeting, allowing the five scooter companies currently operating in the city to continue without a lapse in operation.
“We don’t have the legislation that we really want done,” Councilman Andre Dickens told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “When we’re not ready to go forward with a yearly contract, we do it on a month-to-month basis.”
The change is an update to the existing scooter legislation, which passed last January. The update does not change how scooter laws are enforced.
Dickens, who chairs the city’s transportation committee, said many scooter permits are set to expire in February, and the update allows them to stay in the city until updated legislation is presented. The city is considering reducing the number of scooter companies operating in the city using a procurement process.
The updated legislation only applies to companies already doing business in Atlanta. Last year, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order prohibiting the city from accepting new permits from scooter companies.
The five scooter companies operating in Atlanta currently have a combined 6,200 scooters on the streets. Earlier this month, Lime scooters announced they were leaving Atlanta, citing the city’s high fees to retrieve impounded scooters and the city’s ban on operating them at night.
Lime owes the city at least $69,944 in fees, including a $10,375 storage fee, according to invoices obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through an Open Records Request. The fees are charged when the city picks up illegally parked scooters.
No timeline was given on when Lime would leave Atlanta but on Wednesday afternoon, no available Lime scooters appeared on the company’s app.
Dickens is not yet sure when updated legislation will be presented. “It’s an active, ongoing process,” he said.
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