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Council panel eyes e-scooter regulations

August 21, 2018

City staffers on Monday briefed the City Council’s Transportation Committee on proposed regulations that would tame users of the unregulated pay-per-use electric scooters currently zipping around downtown.

The suggested regulations include charging operators a permit fee, prohibiting their use in certain areas, such as Alamo Plaza, and banning them from sidewalks — a move that drew immediate criticism from some council members.

Rey Saldaña, chairman of the committee, and other officials want to make sure that San Antonio doesn’t re-create the restrictive environment that sparked controversy in the early days of ride-hailing, when Uber and Lyft came to town several years ago. After their arrival, the city instituted a policy so restrictive that the ride-hailing companies left San Antonio until the ordinance was recast.

“We know that scooters today are popular. Folks are using them, whether you work downtown or you’re a visitor or tourists. It’s high use, so we don’t want to scare away the technology. We want to embrace it,” Saldaña said.

John Jacks, director of the Center City Development and Operations Department, assured the panel that the city’s intention is to not be overly restrictive.

“We’re trying to be very minimal with it,” he said.

If approved, the regulations could take effect as early as Oct. 4.

Go to ExpressNews.com to read more about proposed regulations for pay-per-use electric scooters.

Josh Baugh is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | jbaugh@express-news.net | Twitter: @jbaugh

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