Judge denies request to halt S.F. scooter plan
A San Francisco judge on Friday turned down a request by startup Lime to block the city’s e-scooter pilot program, which is scheduled to start Monday with 1,250 scooters from two rival companies, Scoot and Skip.
San Francisco’s Lime was one of a dozen companies that vied for up to five permits to operate e-scooters here. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency created the permit process after Lime, Bird and Spin flooded city streets with scooters in the spring, drawing complaints about them blocking sidewalks and disturbing pedestrians. Lime and other companies were dinged in the selection process over past “bad behavior,” causing it to cry foul.
It filed an appeal, as did Spin and Uber’s Jump. Then Lime sought a temporary restraining order to stop Monday’s rollout until it could argue why it should have been selected. “Lime asserts the SFMTA’s development of the pilot program and permitting process was biased and flawed from the outset,” it said in a press release on Thursday. It characterized the selection of Scoot and Skip as “locking Lime and similar operators out of the city, undermining fair competition, consumer choice, and without sufficient community input.” The city rejected those arguments.
“We’re pleased the court denied Lime’s request for a temporary restraining order,” said John Coté, a spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “The SFMTA’s permit program has been both fair and transparent. Lime just didn’t like the outcome. The reality is that Lime’s application fell notably short of its competitors. That’s why it didn’t get a permit. San Franciscans deserve scooter services that are safe, equitable and accountable, which is exactly what this pilot program was designed to do.” “We look forward to having our preliminary injunction request heard in the coming days,” Lime said. A hearing is scheduled for November.
Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @csaid
Lime was among the companies that flooded San Francisco’s streets with scooters in the spring. Lime’s past “bad behavior” was one reason the city rejected its pilot-program application.