The California State Senate is considering a bill that will endanger bike and scooter sharing in California. It’s absolutely crucial to voice your opposition to your State Senator today.
The Kill Bike-Share Bill (AB 371) would require providers of shared bikes and scooters (whether a private company or a transit agency) to carry insurance to pay for injuries caused through no fault of their own, including by the rider’s own negligence. It’s unprecedented, and will drive up the costs of bike and scooter sharing so severely that many programs will have to be canceled and our hopes of expansion into low-income communities are dashed.
AB 371, prompted by concerns about scooters, includes shared bicycles, which are much safer than scooters, even safer than personal bikes. It excludes shared mopeds! The few cities that are willing to invest excessive sums into shared micromobility in order to have a more sustainable transportation system will have an incentive to implement scooters (because they’re cheaper) and mopeds (because the insurance requirement doesn’t apply), instead of bikes.
California should drastically expand bike-share, not hobble it with prohibitively expensive requirements.
AB 371 punishes shared scooters, punishes shared bikes worse, privileges shared mopeds, and will end up increasing driving and all of the harms associated with such an increase: increased injuries and fatalities from traffic crashes, reduced economic security for low-income people, and worse pollution in already burdened neighborhoods
AB 371 was amended in June 2022 to reduce the insurance requirement, but made no other changes that would prevent it from having a devastating impact on equitable mobility. Please take action today!
UPDATE: Senate Insurance Committee hearing is June 22.