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The California Legislature Is Getting Played by Micromobility Companies

If the California legislature passes AB 1112, cities can’t require companies like Bird, Lime, and Jump to limit numbers, meet equity goals, or fully share data.
Uber's Jump electric scooters in San Diego.
Uber's Jump electric scooters in San Diego.Mike Blake/Reuters

If you are a Californian expecting your city’s leaders to provide an equitable, safe mix of transportation options, you may soon have a problem. State legislators in Sacramento are debating a bill that would strip away many of the tools cities using to shape policies for micromobility devices (e-scooters, e-bikes, and dockless bikes) offered by companies like Bird, Lime, and Jump.

Should it become law in its current form, Assembly bill 1112 (AB 1112) could curtail cities’ ability to: ensure micromobility access in underprivileged communities, establish caps on the total number of vehicles, or collect trip information to improve transportation policy. In a Democratic, urbanized state, it’s surprising to see legislators consider such an infringement on local authority.