Cutting Bird’s Wings? Cease and Desist Letters Might Be Coming For Electric Scooter Companies

August 23, 2018, 4:41 PM UTC

Scooters are all the rage—but they also seem to be incurring the rage of city officials across the U.S.

In the last several months, cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have moved to ban the dockless electric scooters, citing problems such as people riding illegally on sidewalks and parking scooters illegally.

Now it looks like a temporary ban might actually be implemented in LA. According to Curbed Los Angeles, the LA transportation department has plans to begin issuing cease-and-desist letters “to companies placing dockless scooters in areas where they haven’t been given explicit permission to operate.”

Curbed notes that the letters could come as soon as next week.

The move follows a complaint made by the chair of the L.A. City Council’s public safety committee Mitchell Englander, who questioned why a cease-and-desist letter had only been issued to scooter maker Bird.

In March, the council had unanimously backed a moratorium on electric scooters, to give the city time to determine laws around their use. Yet while the vote has been referenced since, including in the cease-and-desist letter sent to Bird, the city has struggled to streamline and enforce its policies.

Even if the letters are issued, the transportation department does not have the authority to impound the vehicles. As such, Marcel Porras, the transportation department’s chief sustainability officer, has reportedly asked city council for further guidance on how to enforce the existing rules. But no reason to stress yet—in the meantime, it is unlikely that your favorite electric scooter will disappear from the streets entirely.