After several months of discussion, elected officials in San Marcos came into a consensus of passing an ordinance that would prohibit the use of motorized scooter-sharing services but still allow residents the use of their own scooters.
San Marcos City Council members voted unanimously to pass the ordinance on first reading at a May 5 meeting that, if passed on second reading, would prohibit companies from deploying motor-assisted scooters on public property.
In addition, the ordinance would also ban residents from using motor-assisted scooters owned by scooter companies, but still allow them to use their own scooters.
The ban for motorized scooter-sharing services comes as an effort to address public safety issues, according to previous discussions between staff and City Council members. The ordinance is intended to "protect the public health, welfare and safety" of the community, according to a staff presentation from a May 5 meeting.
Previously, San Marcos City Council members had discussed an ordinance that would have prohibited the use of all motor-assisted scooters within the city limits, but that ban was brought to a halt at a January meeting in response to public testimony and some City Council members’ concerns.
According to the ordinance, scooter companies that violate the law would receive a fine of no more than $2,000. Similarly, people operating a motor-assisted scooter owned by a scooter company would be subject to a fine of up to $50. The ordinance also gives the city permission to impound scooters found on public property with a fine of $50 per day.
A second reading for the ordinance is scheduled for May 19; if passed by City Council, it will be in effect immediately.