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Scoot seeks allowance to park in residential spaces

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Scoot is hoping the company will be permitted to park their shared red scooters on any curb. (Kevin Kelleher/2016 Special to the S.F. Examiner)

The more than 700 “shared” red scooters available for rent via technology app Scoot may soon be allowed to park for unlimited time in neighborhoods that require parking permits.

Currently, the mopeds are able to do so under a pilot program. But before 2015, the shared vehicles would be ticketed even if no one rented them.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors will take up the decision Tuesday on whether to move forward with a new Shared Electric Moped Parking Permit Proposal.

“We’re really glad the MTA is moving forward,” said Eli Saddler, head of public affairs at Scoot.

That’s a major step in allowing shared vehicles access to curb space in parking permit areas, which are traditionally where vehicles owned by San

Franciscans take priority. Under the proposal, shared mopeds would be exempt from the residential parking permit time limits that cars with stickers must abide by.

Scoot will also pay for annual permits for each of its 750 mopeds, at $325 per vehicle — that’s close to $240,000 a year.

Andy Thornley, a senior analyst with the SFMTA, said that Scoot will need to share data with the SFMTA as part of the deal.

“This is a way for the MTA to get a binding relationship with Scoot in a friendly cooperative way,” he said.

However, ahead of that approval Scoot is hoping for one major tweak: Scooters, they say, should be able to park on any curb.

Right now, the permit proposal limits shared electric mopeds to curbs less than eight feet long. But Saddler said Scoot’s mopeds are slender, and can fit in longer curb spaces in between cars, and at the ends when there’s a few feet of space remaining.

The eight-foot restriction limits Scoot’s ability to expand in The City, he said: “There are just some streets in San Francisco without an eight-foot curb.”

Thornley said the SFMTA found that some neighbors wanted to park their cars partially across their own driveways, and a portion of the nearby curb.

Restricting Scoots to less than eight feet of curb helped preserve this while still allowing Scoot to expand — a compromise.

“Everyone gets a little something,” Thornley said.

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