Shared Mobility Permit Program

What is Shared Mobility?

Shared mobility describes transportation services and resources that are shared among users, including bike share and electric scooter (e-scooter) share programs. These services provide more transportation options for traveling short distances, decreasing reliance on single-occupancy vehicles. Shared mobility benefits the community by offering first and last mile solutions for connecting users to transit, work, or home, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and improving public health.

Shared Mobility History

We launched our first bike share pilot program with Social Bicycles called “Bay Bikes” in May 2016. This program required bikes to be locked to bike racks and had specific “hubs” where bikes were located. In May 2018, we terminated the contract with Social Bicycles and initiated a second bike share pilot program with Lime, who introduced electric bikes (e-bikes) to the San Mateo community. In February 2019, Lime decided to discontinue its bike share services in our city, and other cities across the nation, ending its contract with us. As of August 2019, we have no bike share operators and have not allowed e-scooter operations to date.

Shared Mobility Permit Program

The Shared Mobility Permit Program was adopted at the May 6, 2019 City Council meeting. The program requires shared mobility operators to obtain a permit to deploy bike, electric bike (e-bike), and electric scooter (e-scooter) shared services within our jurisdictional boundaries.

At this time, we intend to issue one permit to one bike share operator to deploy a maximum of 500 total standard pedal bikes and electric bikes (e-bikes). The duration of the bike share permit is twelve (12) months, with the option to extend at the City’s discretion for up to two 12-month terms. If approved for a permit, the operator must meet the requirements of the Shared Mobility Permit Program and permit conditions for the duration of the permit term. Currently, we have not issued any permits for the operation of any other shared mobility service.

Operators interested in applying for a shared mobility permit should carefully review the following documents. Submittal instructions, evaluation criteria, and schedule for deployment are outlined in Appendix A: Shared Mobility Permit Application Packet.