FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sacramento, August 27, 2020: The California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) announced a victory today in its campaign to protect bike share systems from a threat from the California State Senate. An amendment to Assembly Bill 1286 removed a provision that would have transferred all liability for any impact onto providers of shared bikes and scooters. The provision would have made it impossible for shared mobility systems to get insurance and likely forced the removal of such systems throughout the state.
In a letter to the legislature, CalBike’s Executive Director Dave Snyder thanked the author of the bill, Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi (D-South Bay), for “his support of this low-cost, low-impact form of transportation.” Snyder said that his organization wants to see expansion of shared micromobility through greater public support of the services and integration with public transit. AB 1286 threatened that expansion until the removal of the liability provision, a change that was made at the very last hour that amendments were allowed.
“Shared bikes and scooters are fun, affordable, and eco-friendly ways to get around, reducing car trips and air pollution,” said Assembly Member Muratsuchi. “AB 1286 will make these devices safer for both users and the general public, with basic consumer protections for users.”
“In a matter of days we put together a coalition of local bicycling advocacy organizations and environmental groups that helped to convince the Assembly Member to pull that provision,” said Snyder. “We’re strong when we act together,” added Eli Akira Kaufman, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
CalBike had objected to other aspects of the bill, as well. One provision will increase the amount of insurance a provider must carry. Snyder said this will drive up the cost of providing shared mobility but isn’t a reason to oppose the bill because it has its benefits for users. Another mandates that a provider acquire a permit before operating. CalBike supports the intent of this provision but is concerned that some cities may use it disingenuously to effectively ban shared mobility. Snyder said that “we can deal with that if and when it happens.”