Permit Programs & Best Practices

A note on COVID-19:

In the face of COVID-19, the way people travel has seen various changes. The pandemic will have long-term impacts on transportation choices that governmental agencies and policy makers will need to navigate carefully. Most cities have resumed micromobility services, and some launched new BikeShare programs within the past year. The following resources will continue to be helpful when considering the safety of shared bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters as a mobility option.


Pilot programs and subsequent permit programs are a crucial component of implementing micromobility in a city. Each city has a unique approach in order to address the surrounding context and different set of needs of their community. This section illustrates some of the permit programs launched in California cities and their methods to make micromobility work. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of micromobility permit programs, and is frequently updated.


Shared Electric Micromobility Permit Program (SEMPP)

  • The Shared Electric Micromobility Permit Program was approved by on September 28, 2021
  • Operator must provide a minimum of fifty (50) Devices to ensure availability.
  • Three companies aproved, totaling 1250 devices (stand, seated scooters & e-bikes)
    • Veoride: 500 devices

    • Link: 250 devices

    • Spin: 500 devices

Equity and Outreach

  • Operators shall coordinate with City staff to conduct outreach, both in-person and digital, to raise awareness and provide public education on proper and legal use of the Devices.
  • More than 50% of Devices must be deployed in the Berkeley Equity Priority Communities
  • Operators shall make available ways to use and pay for the service that do not require a smart phone or credit card.
  • Operators shall offer a discounted membership for those with low-income, equivalent to $5 for one year of unlimited 30 minute rides for those who participate in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE).
  • Operators shall make available free or discounted helmets through in-person events or through their mobile application website.

Chula Vista 

The Shared Micro-Mobility Device Pilot Program

  • A one-year pilot program 
  • Annual Program Application Fee of $146
  • Providers must agree to indemnification, insurance, permit fees, data sharing requirements, etc (full list available in application)
  • No more than 5,000 devices total from all operators combined unless approved by City Engineer
  • Minimum initial fleet deployment id 500 devices during the first month of the pilot

Equity and Outreach

  • Operator must provide at least one method of payment in which users who may not have smart phone, bank account or charge card and cannot rent a device.


Shared Active Transportation Program

  • The city partnered with Hopr to began pilot program in 2019
  • Pilot program consisted of shared pedal bikes
  • Pilot program became permenant in 2021 that includes e-bikes and scooters
  • Users of HOPR bikes in Fremont must by 18 or older
  • Single ride: $1 to unlock plus 15¢ per minute

Equity and Outreach

  • HOPR Access Pass: $5 for 30 minutes of unlimited ride time per day. Available for participants in federal or state income assistance programs such as CalWorks (TANF), CalFresh, LIHEAP, WIC, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Head Start, & DOE WAP

Long Beach

Micro-Mobility Pilot Program


  • On August 7, 2020, Long Beach transitioned from am electric scooter pilot program to a permanent citywide Shared Micro-Mobility Permit Program.

  • Four Operators were selected.

  • Each Operator can initially deploy up to 500 e-scooters, with the potential to increase up to 1,000 e-scooters per Operator.

  • Operators are responsible for the maintenance, operations, and disinfecting of their fleet of e-scooters daily.

Shared Micro-Mobility

  • Vendors must abide by all 12-month permit requirements and ensure the public right- of-way remains clear and unobstructed. 

  • Multiple violations will result in permits being revoked.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must be complied with by all vendors.

  • Electric bikes and bicycles must have visible identification and numbering.

  • Devices on public sidewalks must follow ADA accessibility and not prevent normal pedestrian functions.

Pilot Program

  • The pilot launched on July 2, 2018.

  • The first e-scooters deployed in early August 2018.

  • The City will permit up to six (6) micro-mobility Operators to operate within the Long Beach system area for 12 months. 

  • 1,800 e-scooters (300 per vendor) will deploy citywide for the duration of the pilot.

Los Angeles

One-Year Permit Program


  • Conditional Use Permit Program launched in November 2018

  • One-Year Permit introduced December 2018 to broaden the program and build on regulations

  • January 28th, 2019 earliest application submission, February 15th, 2019 application deadline

  • Three companies approved, total of 22,500 scooters
    • Lime 5,500 scooters, 2,500 of which will be located in “Disadvantaged Communities” (DACs)

    • Spin 10,500 scooters, 8,000 in DACs

    • Bird 6,500 scooters, 3,500 in DACs

  • Other companies working to comply with the more recent One-Year Permit requirements and be approved

One-Year Permit Program

  • 12 month program, renewed yearly

  • Providers must agree to indemnification, insurance, permit fees, data sharing requirements, etc (full list available in application)

  • Annual Permit Application Fee of $20,000 

  • Annual Permit vehicle fee of $130 / vehicle

  • Fleet size 10,500 maximum

Introducing Parking Zones

  • Parking in marked zones, map available online, suggest a location online

  • Parking zones not required to park in, but encouraged

  • Ability to report issues related to dockless scooters and bicycles to MyLA311

  • E-scooters speeds must be limited to 15 MPH

  • The City reserves the right to implement geofencing and determine parking zones

Equity and Outreach

  • Providers are to offer a one-year low-income customer plan 

  • Providers are to attend meetings with Neighborhood Councils, Transportation Management Organization, Disability Rights Organization, and other community organizations so that they are aware of the Program and how it may affect the communities 

Mountain View 

Bike Share Program 


  • City of Mountian View launced a dockless bike share pilot program in May 2018

  • Two operators participated in the pilot but have since withdrawn their fleet from the city

  • The program is still open to new applicants

One-Year Permit Program

  • A maximum citywide fleet of 800 bicycles (400 per provider)

  • Providers must agree to indemnification, insurance, permit fees, data sharing requirements, etc (full list available in application)

  • Pay a nonrefundable permit fee of $927

Parking Zones

  • Parking only in the furniture zone of the public right-of-way so as not to interfere with pedestrian travel and universal access

Equity and Outreach

  • Providers are encouraged to establish payment and participation options for users who do not have access to a smart phone and/or credit card


Dockless Vehicle Share Program

  • In 2020 dockless Electric Bicycles were added as eligible vehicles, and the program was renamed from “Dockless Scooter Program” to “Dockless Vehicle Program”
  • Permits are valid for one-year from the time of permit issuance.
  • Operators must renew permits on an annual basis.
  • Operators shall make available ways to use and pay for the service that do not require a smart phone or credit card.
  • Permit Fee: $30,000 annual fee

  • Vehicle Fee: $64 per vehicle per year

Equity and Outreach 

  • Operators shall maintain a multilingual website, call center and app customer interface, with languages determined by the City, that is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Operators shall offer a discounted membership for those with low-income, equivalent to $5 for one year of unlimited 30 minute rides for those who participate in the State Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE). 
  • Operators shall implement a marketing and targeted outreach plan at its own cost to increase awareness of low-income discount options.
  • Operators shall make available free or discounted helmets through in-person events or through their mobile application or website.


Shared Mobility Program

  • Charleston Mobility, Inc. replaces Bolt Mobility 
  • New action plan will be implemented in three phases
  • Phase One is for the emergency program reinstatement and securing additional funds to expand the program 
  • Phase Two will allow the city to lauch the additional assets and locations determined in Phase 1, increasing the total assets deployed of 300
  • Phase Three is focused on creating long-term sustainability plan

Task for the Pilot Program 

  • Review existing, approved bike hub sites to determine optimal quantity of bikes per location 
  • Conduct a full analysis of the entire existing fleet including recovered/abandoned bikes. Assess conditions and repair/replace parts as required.
  • Address security issues by updating the ability for prior operators to access through Bluetooth code change and securing against battery/bike theft.
  • Rebrand assets to remove Bolt/Gotcha
  • Initial fleet of 100 eBikes
  • Conduct mid-term program evaluation with Transportation Division and prepare Phase 2 program growth plan.
  • Work diligently on grant funding that would allow for the full funding and expansion of the bike share program Phase 2.

Click here to learn more abot the Bikeshare Program.

San Francisco

2019-2020 Powered Scooter Share Permit Program - Revised

SFMTA Resolution No. 190716-098


  • E-scooters introduced to San Francisco in March 2018 without any program in place

Powered Scooter Share Pilot Permit Program in October 2018

  • 12 month program

  • Permits issued to Scoot and Skip

  • Mid-Pilot Evaluation in April 2019 with revision to the Permit Program

Powered Scooter Share Permit Program 

  • July 2019 application open

  • October 2019 SFMTA issue four permits to JUMP, Lime, Scoot, and Spin

    • Each permit allows 1,000 scooters with the potential to increase to a maximum of 2,500 scooters each during the term of the permit if an increase is determined necessary by SFMTA

  • Permit Fee

    • Program Annual / Renewal Permit $36,613

    • Program Permit Application Fee $5,132

  • During the Permit Program SFMTA will

    • evaluate and document performance of each permittee 

    • assess the benefits and areas of improvement of the program itself

    • evaluate an increase in overall number of scooter, if warranted

    • make policy recommendations, including amending the Transportation Code if necessary

    • continue installing bike parking citywide to ensure adequate parking for privately-owned bicycles and shared micromobility

  • Permittees must

    • Provide high quality scooters that comply with CVC requirement and have integrated lock-to capabilities

    • Equip scooter with on-board GPS device capable of providing real-time location data to the SFMTA

    • Provide adequate insurance and indemnify the City and County of San Francisco and its departments

    • Pay a public property repair and maintenance endowment

  • Equity and Outreach

    • Develop a targeted outreach plan that complies with SFMTA’s Community Engagement Plan Requirement

    • Distribute scooters in specific neighborhoods to meet Communities of Concern equity goals

    • Submit a low-income user plan that offers a minimum 50% discount off rental fees or unlimited trips under 30 minutes, and add a cash payment option

  • The Powered Scooter Share program has been voted to be permanent by the SFMTA Board of Directors. However, further modifications to the Transportation Code or suspension of the program is possible if the public interest is not served

  • The Program implementation is consistent with the SFMTA “Guiding Principles for Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies”

San José

Shared Micromobility Permit Administrative Regulations

Permit Regulations

  • Must be renewed annually, revocable if failure to meet set requirements

  • Shared e-assist bicycle programs will not be issued a permit under these regulations

  • General Requirements

    • E-scooters must be limited to 12 MPH

    • There is no specified maximum number of micromobility devices, but a maximum can be set by the City as necessary

    • Each operator must operate a minimum of 50 devices

  • Permit Fee

    • $2500 annual permit application fee

    • $10,000 property maintenance deposit

    • $124 per device per year

  • Prevention of sidewalk use

    • By June 2019, providers must prevent motorized use on sidewalks

    • Technology applications are to be demonstrated to City Staff

  • Equity and Outreach

    • 20% of micromobility devices must be in a “Community of Concern” as defined by the MTC

    • Providers must establish a low-income discount program that offers discounted memberships to individuals at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and waive any deposit fee

    • Within 6 months of permit issuance, operators must provide English, Spanish, and Vietnamese in its customer service and low-income discount program materials, including in their website, mobile app, and phone services

San Mateo

Shared Mobility Permit Program

  • One permit to one bike share operator to deploy a maximum of 500 total standard pedal bikes and electric bikes (e-bikes).
  • The duration of the bike share permit is twelve (12) months, with the option to extend at the City’s discretion for up to two 12-month terms

Equity and Outreach

  • Operator must develop and implement a social equity program, including reduced rates for -low-income, to serve the City of San Mateo’s underserved communities
  • Operators shall establish payment and participation options for users who not have access to a smart phone, credit card, and/or bank account
  • Operators are encouraged to work with local businesses or other organizations to promote safe riding and the use of helmets through partnerships, website, and emails. 

Santa Monica

Shared Mobility Pilot Program


  • First bikeshare system in LA County

  • Invested in 100 miles of bike facilities

  • Sept 2017 dockless micromobility launched with no regulation / permit

  • Dec 2018 City filed misdemeanor complaint against Bird

Pilot Program

  • Selected Bird, Jump, Lime, Lyft out of application pool

  • $20,000 to operate, $130 per device, $1 per device per day to park on sidewalk

  • Permit necessary, insurance required, indemnify City

  • Initial fleet of 2000 eScooters and 500 eBikes

  • Weekly / monthly review with providers to review compliance

  • Standardized data collection on ridership and operations from providers to city

Post-Pilot Program

  • City conducted two user surveys -- citywide (4200 completed) & countywide survey (1261 completed)

  • Organized 10 community advisory committee meetings

  • 2.7 million rides from Oct 2018 to Sept 2019, peak in spring summer

  • Average trip 14 mins, 1.3 miles

  • 107 parking and pick up zones

  • Enforced geofencing

  • 299 citation, 929 violations, 1200 devices impounded

  • 122 collisions from Jan 2017 to Sept 2019 -- 10% severe, 80% minor injury

Next Steps

  • Right-of-way management

  • Rider behavior education

  • Effective management of dispersed devices via data and internal systems

  • Continued partnership with City and Providers

Pilot Program 2.0

  • Nov 2019 to June 2020

  • Intensified regulation, greater customer reliability and affordability

  • Explore partnership models PPP

  • Explore data capture and utilization

  • Experiment with geofencing and drop zones

  • COVID-19 interruptions


E-Scooter Share Program

  • One-year pilot program
  • Bird Ride's Inc. is the selected vendor
  • The city will collect data on operational and community concerns to help decide on an expanded micromobility program
  • Users must download the Bird appto get started 
  • All riders must
    • Be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license
    • Ride in an existing bicycle lane
      • Or if no bicycle lane, only on streets with a maximum speed limit of 25 mph
    • Follow all traffic rules, signals, and signs
    • Ride with the flow of traffic
    • Yield to pedestrians and walk scooters on sidewalks when parking
    • Ride sober. You may not ride scooters under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Ride solo. Only one rider is allowed on a scooter at a time.