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Scoot, SFMTA reach agreement on neighborhood parking

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Scoot has been granted temporary permission to park the company’s vehicles in neighborhoods by the SFMTA. (Kevin Kelleher/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Earlier this month, a parking permit scuffle between transportation company Scoot and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency threatened to eliminate parking for nearly half of Scoot’s customers.

Now, this issue has been resolved.

Scoot customers will keep their parking, and the SFMTA will launch a new pilot program to allow electric scooters to park in permit areas citywide.

“It is good news,” Scoot founder Michael Keating told the San Francisco Examiner. “We’re very happy that [the SFMTA] is working on this with us, even on a temporary basis.”

Scoot rents its ubiquitous red scooters, which are parked all across The City, to customers for a monthly fee or on a pay-as-you-ride basis.

In an Aug. 26 memorandum obtained by the Examiner, the SFMTA established a program that exempts small, all-electric, two-wheeled mopeds from parking permit requirements.

“The purpose of this temporary program is to study the impact of permitting such vehicles to park at these locations on the City’s overall [residential parking permit] program,” wrote Tom Maguire, director of the SFMTA’s sustainable streets division.

The SFMTA Board of Directors recently voted to require residential parking permits in “Area Q,” which encompasses some of the neighborhood around Divisadero Street near Alamo Square Park.

Scoot was previously in limbo. It couldn’t legally pay for parking permits, because the permits don’t exist for the scooter rental service. When the residential permitting began Sept. 1, Scoot users would be unable to park there.

Scoot told the Examiner that half of its 6,000 users park in that neighborhood regularly. Scoot’s widespread availability helps take cars off the road, the company contends.

Cheryl Brinkman, vice-chairman of the SFMTA board of directors, praised the transportation agency’s staff for its speedy resolution of the issue.

“I’m very glad that [SFMTA staff] could take action on this issue,” Brinkman said. “This is a great first step towards making curbside space available to all residents, regardless of their car owning status.”

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