The SFMTA Could Improve e-Moped Parking Options on June 20th!
June 12th, 2017
UPDATE June 20th: The SFMTA today approved the proposal creating a new permit allowing shared electric scooters to park at metered parking in San Francisco. Scoot is proud to have worked diligently with SFMTA officials to provide data and input in helping to craft the new regulations. The SFMTA heard input from San Francisco residents and business in determining an equitable solution that helps to advance sustainable forms of transportation throughout the city. Special thanks to individuals in the Scoot rider community who to the time out to have their voices heard by the SFMTA as well.
The SFMTA could revolutionize transportation in San Francisco on June 20th if it approves a new parking permit that will allow shared electric mopeds to park at parking meters and continue to park in Residential Parking Permit areas. Scoot or other transportation-sharing organizations could purchase a permit ($325/e-moped/year) that will prepay for parking at meters and retain parking in Residential Parking Permit (“RPP”) areas if the SFMTA Board votes to approve this next step in e-moped sharing. The SFMTA is considering this permit because it will improve transportation sustainability, ensure affordable access to a diversity of transportation options, and create equitable access to curb space in neighborhoods.
The SFMTA Could Improve e-Moped Parking Options on June 20th!
The SFMTA is demonstrating their leadership and sending a clear message that if transportation companies work collaboratively with the City that progress can be made that benefits thousands of residents every day with equitable usability for shared zero-emission mobility.
At Scoot, we’re incredibly excited that tens of thousands of current and future Scoot riders in San Francisco will get better parking options when sharing scoots. Currently, metered parking blocks shared e-mopeds from the busiest parts of the city where they’re needed the most and where it could have the biggest impact on reducing private car trips and ride-hailing vehicles. This could mean that you finally could get almost anywhere via a scoot.
Scoot supports this innovative improvement to the rules around parking shared e-mopeds. Scoot also recommends that we move away from a curb restriction in RPP zone so people using shared e-mopeds can park in front of their homes or destinations, instead of in front of a neighbor’s favorite scrap curb. Allowing parking like any other motorbike simplifies and enables publically shared e-mopeds to provide their fullest potential public benefit.
Why is this such a huge deal?
Increasing Transportation Sharing
The SFMTA recognizes that visibility and proximity are key factors in reducing dependence on polluting cars as a main means of transportation. To that end, the SFMTA launched on-street car-sharing to expand where our community could access vehicles that help people who can’t afford or don’t want to own cars.
Likewise, in September 2015, the SFMTA approved a pilot project that allowed electric motorized bicycles (“mopeds”) like scoots to park in Residential Parking Permit areas without purchasing a neighborhood permit. This opened up huge swaths of the city that were previously unavailable to non-car-owners wanting to park near their homes if they lived in an RPP zone. This came with restrictions to parking on curbs less than scrap curb or in unmetered motorcycle parking.
Scoot has been monitoring this pilot project and its impact on our members, as well as the community as a whole. This has been incredibly helpful to getting more members to reduce their car trips and at least 7% of members selling cars, but the restrictions have caused issues in some cases. Most importantly not everyone has a small curb in front of their home, even though there might be a legal motorbike parking space. Also, some neighbors feel the public curb space (especially the short curbs) in front of their home is their private parking and are put at odds with their neighbors who share scoots and are required to park the scoots on short curbs. Scoot and our members hope this changes in the final version of the new pilot project.
If you live in a San Francisco in an RPP neighborhood and want to use a shared e-moped as one of your transportation options, you should get fair access to the curbs in your neighborhood. RPP was designed to reduce the number of commuters from outside San Francisco who park in neighborhoods — usually during the weekday daytime. If you buy a car or motorbike, you can purchase an RPP sticker ($96/year/motorbike) and park in a legal spot in front of your house. However, if you prefer to live without a car and to rely on Scoot as one way to get around, you don’t get the same rights to park on your own street.
To get the tens of thousands of San Franciscans equal access to curbs in front of their home, over 600 people who share e-mopeds asked the SFMTA in April 2016 to expand RPP parking to include a sticker for shared vehicles and to lift the curb restrictions so people could park in front or closer to their own home rather than a neighbor’s home. In the last year, we’ve all been patiently waiting and working with the SFMTA to evaluate a new pilot permit to expand where shared electric mopeds can park in SF.
While the original pilot has allowed many residents access to RPP parking, most people who use shared e-mopeds are challenged to find parking on small curbs in front of or near their homes. If the SFMTA Board of Directors changes the pilot to include all legal spots, giving more people more equitable access to their home curbs. Our public spaces should benefit as many people as possible, including the ability to access publicly-available shared electric mopeds.
Fighting Climate Change through Zero-Emission Trips
Even at the highest levels of our national government, climate change is still considered a debate. But for leaders in government and the private sector in San Francisco and California there is no debate. California and San Francisco are making progress, but to meet the most ambitious greenhouse gas reductions, we need to do more now.
Last year, the greenhouse gases released by cars and planes actually increased. Increased used of solar has helped reduce overall emissions, but we need to tackle the transportation problem to make more gains. In the US, transportation contributes 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. While some companies fight moves toward higher MPG requirements and more electric vehicle requirements, other companies are leading the way toward more zero-emission transportation options like Scoot.
Scoot Supports SF’s Vision Zero
More automobiles on the road is a public safety issue that has become a campaign known as “Vision Zero” that aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. The majority of Scoot’s members do not own cars, many want to give up their car, and some have already because of using Scoot plus other transportation modes together. In most cases, a Scoot member might have taken a car trip instead of a scoot ride. By substituting car trips for moderate speed (30MPH max) scoot trips, we can reduce the risk of traffic fatalities on our streets. Scoot is committed to making the streets of San Francisco safer and can only do that by providing thousands of people better ways to get around and an easier time parking in public spaces.
Creating a New Norm – Electric Vehicles for Everyone
Scoot promotes electric vehicles for all. And the SFMTA’s proposal to expand electric moped parking could move the City of San Francisco to a new norm — promoting electric mobility options over cars and other fossil-fuel-based transportation options. Not everyone can afford an electric or even an hybrid car, but supporting progress toward more access to electric vehicles will get more people excited about the future when we’ve moved beyond the old ways of promoting cars first in city planning. San Francisco has often led the world in new ideas and innovations yet we’ve fallen behind other cities in adopting more options for electric transportation options with regard to shared mopeds. On June 20th, the SFMTA has the chance to move us forward toward a world where we live in a sustainable city with less traffic, fewer parking problems, and better air quality.
Saving the City of San Francisco Money
With the President and Congress threatening to reduce funding to Sanctuary Cities like San Francisco, having private companies with fleets of shared vehicles share the transportation burden and costs helps protect resources for other programs.
The new pilot project for shared electric mopeds can double available parking options where scoots can share metered spaces with cars. Without any cost to the City and with $325 in annual fees per scoot, the SFMTA is increasing the utility of public parking spaces. By pre-paying for parking and allowing shared mopeds to park on the lines between cars, more people can take trips without a car. This means more people getting home or to work quickly and easily, as well as bringing more residents to local businesses for work and economic activity. This is a win for all.
Making San Francisco Affordable
Anyone who lives in SF knows that many people need to find ways to save money to make life affordable and sustainable here. In 2013-2014, the average San Franciscan spent 37.3% of their income on housing and 13.7% on transportation, which is half of their earnings for basic living — before eating and other necessities. One way that San Franciscans can reduce their monthly transportation budget is to avoid owning a car, which can cost someone $8,558 per year. Instead of spending $713 per month, San Franciscans can use Muni, bike, walk, and sometimes Scoot to get around at a fraction of the cost.
Rather than pushing people toward ride-hailing apps like Uber, people can save time and money by using Scoot. Other options would cost more money or take more time when they need to make a trip that should be quick and affordable. If you’re getting off work late at night during surge pricing or when public transit runs less frequently, you can still get home quickly for little more than a bus fare. Likewise, busy parents with limited time can run errands without spending time circling for parking or paying a premium to get things done.
All of this becomes more likely when people can easily pick up and drop off their shared electric moped. As soon as this expansion of the parking pilot goes into effect, the faster San Franciscans can get some relief from the challenges of living and working in the US’s most expensive city.
Expanding Mobility for People with Physical Limitations
Not everyone can walk or bike to where they need to go and having an additional service that allows some people with physical limitations to access to affordable transportation that’s complementary to other modes. Someone may not be able to handle the hills of San Francisco on a bicycle, but could make it home or to work via motorized electric bicycles (AKA “electric moped”).
Unlike purchasing an e-bike or electric moped, someone can avoid the costs and burdens of ownership by accessing publicly-available scoots starting at $3 for their first half hour. E-bikes are expensive to own and, unless well-secured, are targets for theft. Not everyone who could benefit from light electric vehicles can afford to access to them, but there are many people amongst Scoot’s members who can get better mobility through scooting.
Support the SFMTA’s Parking Pilot Project on June 20th!
On June 20th at 1pm, please join us at the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting in room 401 at City Hall to express your gratitude for the SFMTA moving forward toward greater parking freedom and more transportation equity. If you can’t make it, please send an email of support and thanks. Please be sure to ask them to do a pilot without the eight-foot curb restriction in RPP areas and to enable thousands of San Franciscans to scoot to new locations immediately after the vote. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about attending next week’s SFMTA Board of Directors’ meeting.
How could the new permits work?
Scoot would prepay for our San Francisco members to have a permit to park near their homes and at meters by purchasing an annual permit for all of the 750 scoots in the fleet. You’ll get to park at meters while on your trip and when ending your ride on the street in a blue zone or special downtown metered zone.
In RPP areas within our blue zones, you can park in any legal spot. Just don’t take up spaces that could fit a car and make sure you’re safely within the blue zone. Always leave about two feet between your scoot and a driveway, curb cut, or other vehicle.
In any area, you still have to avoid colored curbs and any upcoming parking restrictions or tow away zones.
Would I need to pay the meters?
No. You’ll simply park your scoot like you’re parking at any curb. This goes for parking at motorcycle meters and on the line between car meters.
How would I park at the meters?
If you’re parking in a designated metered motorcycle spot, just park normally and skip the meter because Scoot’s already paid.
If you’re parking on the line between cars, please make sure you’re directly on the white line and leave plenty of room for the cars. Please never park in the middle of a car space or you may get a ticket.
What about street cleaning?
At metered spaces within our blue zones, you’ll still need to enter street cleaning, but now street cleaning can be within 24 hours. If you’re in a special meter-only zone, like Main St and Market, you’ll get to skip the meter info since we’ll keep track. As always, keep an eye out for any parking restrictions like construction or towing to avoid tickets.
In non-metered spaces, you’ll still enter street cleaning and get to park within 24 hours of street cleaning.