Campus, Long Beach, News

Long Beach City Council to extend Scooter Pilot Program

Long Beach’s Scooter Pilot Program will be extended another six months as the city council plans to look into a more permanent program.

The council voted 8-0 Tuesday among support from residents.

“I enjoy it and it saves me a lot of money,” said Long Beach resident Senay Kenfe. “I don’t have to take two busses anymore, I just wake up and take a scooter and save around $40 to $50 a month.”

Richard Fernandez, a resident who charges batteries for Bird Scooters, said the scooters have brought a new opportunity to supplement income.

“This helped me since I’ve gone a while without work,” Fernandez said. “It has helped me pay rent and pursue my career as a musician.”

The council will bring the pilot under review in six months to discuss changes. The changes pose the possibility of lower rates for low income neighborhoods, better enforced rules and raising the cap from 4,000 scooters to 6,000.  

Councilmember Suzie Price said she has received thousands of emails explaining scooters on the sidewalk are a large issue. She hopes the city can join with vendors to enforce rules better to combat this issue.

The director of the Department of Public Works, Craig Beck, cited an online survey which stated  55 percent of Long Beach residents think e-scooters are necessary to fill a gap in city transportation.

“Over half are using them for work, errands or to get around. They’re using them for necessary functions for their lives,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “It is an incredibly diverse reflection of the community.”

The next city council meeting will be March 5 at 5 p.m.

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