North American Bikeshare Association Celebrates Defeat of Harmful Florida Bill

  • Organization’s advocacy stops bill that would have preempted local control of dockless bikeshare
  • Industry association urges other states to maintain local control of bikeshare

The North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) celebrates a major victory for the future of bikeshare — a Florida bill that would have preempted local control of dockless bikeshare failed to pass through the legislative session last week due to NABSA’s pressure on legislators. According to NABSA, this win upholds the industry standard for the local control and regulation of systems, which is important for the maintenance of service quality and citizen safety.

“As the bikeshare industry’s leading membership organization, we worked hard to ensure this bill did not pass in Florida because we did not want it to cause a ripple effect in other states,” says NABSA Executive Director Samantha Herr. “Through our advocacy efforts on the ground in Florida and our support from members across the U.S., we successfully defeated this harmful bill, allowing existing and future bikeshare systems to thrive across the state.”

The Florida House of Representatives and Senate introduced bills SB 1304 and HB 1033 in December 2017, attempting to remove the power of Florida cities to regulate local bikeshare systems. Through mandating a statewide bikeshare policy, these bills did not account for safety, data privacy, right of way management, or the needs of communities, among other issues. NABSA asserts that the success of bikeshare, the safety of riders and the quality of the service all depend on local management and decision-making authority.

During the three-month legislative session, NABSA and allies urged Florida legislators to defeat the bill and keep control in the hands of local authorities. With these efforts, NABSA also successfully pushed for amendments to be included in the bill that gave significant control back to local jurisdictions. Herr hopes the defeat of the bill in Florida will show the importance for local decision-making in other areas of the U.S.

“Bikeshare has been successful in hundreds of cities and towns across the country because of strong local involvement,” says Herr. “We encourage policymakers in other states to protect the safety and welfare of their citizens by keeping bikeshare implementation and decision-making at the local level.”

Similar legislation in Oklahoma in the form of SB 1374 is scheduled to move forward in the Senate. With its letter of opposition, NABSA urges the Oklahoma Legislature to defeat the bill and maintain the industry standard for local control of bikeshare across the U.S.

For more information on NABSA and its dedication to improving the bikeshare industry, please click here.