A woman rides a Lime electric scooter on Market Street in April, before they were banned from city streets. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A woman rides a Lime electric scooter on Market Street in April, before they were banned from city streets. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Scooter company sues to stop SF pilot program

Scooter company Lime is pursuing legal action to stop San Francisco from deploying scooters on Monday.

The company will file for a restraining order in California State Superior Court against the Powered Scooter Share Permit Pilot Program Friday morning, the company announced Thursday.

That may put the brakes on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plans to let the e-scooters come back Monday. The agency was scheduled to award permits to two companies, Scoot and Skip, on October 15.

SEE RELATED: SF awards permits to two scooter companies for limited pilot

“Lime believes it has no choice but to seek emergency relief in court,” a Lime spokesman wrote in a statement. “The company has never had to take legal action against a city and now serves over 100 markets globally.”

John Cote, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, called the legal move “sour grapes from Lime, plain and simple,” and accused the company of “playing games.” He said the company’s application “simply didn’t match those of its competitors.”

“It’s unfortunate Lime has chosen this course,” Cote said. “The SFMTA’s permitting process for the pilot program was thoughtful, fair and transparent. It includes an appeal process that Lime should be pursuing instead of wasting everyone’s resources by running to court.”

“If Lime succeeds, it will be hurting the very people it purports to want to help – those who are ready to use scooters on Monday,” Cote said.

Lime was among the 10 e-scooter companies denied permits by SFMTA. Agency officials cited the company’s poor application and record of not cooperating with San Francisco in denying approval to operate in The City.

In its announcement Thursday, Lime skewered SFMTA’s permit process as being “riddled with bias” due to “favoritism,” though the company did not expand on why SFMTA would be favorable toward Scoot and Skip.

Lime was one of the three e-scooter companies that rolled out its two-wheeled vehicles in a “disruptive” fashion in March before a permit process was created by The City, causing more than 1,800 complaints about scooters parked on sidewalks or zooming past pedestrians to be filed with The City’s 311 system.

SEE RELATED: E-scooters to return to SF streets on Oct. 15, but only in a handful of neighborhoods

The City Attorney’s Office and SFMTA moved to impose a temporary ban on the practice of renting scooters via smartphone app in June.

More than 500 scooters were impounded by The City before the temporary ban, which only targeted scooters parked in the path of walkers.Transit

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) slides into home for the score on a triple by San Francisco Giants left fielder Austin Slater (13) in the 6th inning at Oracle Park on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants bats rally for Gausman

Through the first 10 games of the 2021 season, the story for… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Most Read