A Bill That May End California's Bike-sharing And Scooter Business Has Been Amended

- Aug 27, 2020-

According to the media The Verge, bike-sharing and scooter companies were worried that a bill by the California state legislature would end their business, but now the bill has been amended. The previous version of the bill, AB 1286, contained language that prohibited companies such as Bird, Lime, and Uber from using liability waivers - companies claiming that if the clause was enacted, they would basically be forced to close their doors. Without these disclaimers, ride-sharing companies may be liable for various injuries and accidents, including those caused by poor road infrastructure, reckless driving or passenger negligence.

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But after large-scale protests in the bicycle and scooter industries, the bill has been amended to remove language about liability exemptions-thereby eliminating the main threat to shared service providers. These operators believe that this bill is the first major existential threat they face, and they are very satisfied with being able to overcome this threat.

"Since COVID is prompting many Californians to rethink their way of travel, this change is a strong recognition of the existence of shared bicycles and scooters in our city," said Sam Sadle, Lime's senior director of government relations, in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to work with city and state governments to encourage open-air, social, and sustainable transportation options to move forward."

An analysis of the bill produced by the California Senate earlier this month noted strong opposition from shared travel providers. It even admitted that "this exemption is generally allowed and is widely used." However, in users The exemptions stipulated in the agreement and the terms of service with customers must still be "clear, unambiguous, and clear," the senators concluded.

The bill aims to prevent scooter and bicycle companies from unscrupulously leaving vehicles on the streets before the authorities have formulated a clear set of safety rules and guidelines. In other words, it aims to stop what scooter companies like Bird and Lime did when they first launched the non-stop micromobility concept three years ago: ignoring local rules and leaving their vehicles on the street overnight.

According to Congressman Al Muratsuchi, the main sponsor of the bill, cities and counties will be required to "adopt safety rules before electric scooters and other shared travel service providers provide any equipment for rental or use." "The bill will also require service providers to provide minimum insurance to protect riders as well as pedestrians and others in the event of injury."

Apollo, a major insurance provider in California's shared mobility industry, said it would not be able to insure scooters and bicycle companies without liability exemptions. But now that these contents have been deleted, this probably won't be a problem.

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