Media Contact: Rosanne Lubeck | Rosanne@NABSA.net

The California State Assembly recently passed Assembly Bill 1286, sending a potentially harmful bill to consideration in the Senate. AB-1286 is sponsored by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and passed by the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection.

Representing 24 members of the bikeshare and shared micromobility industry located and/or operating in California, including municipal, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations, NABSA opposes Bill AB-1286 as passed by the California State Assembly, along with PeopleForBikes and several bikeshare and shared micromobility providers.

This bill is overly restrictive to bikeshare providers with a proven track record of success, and overly preemptive to local governments desiring to pilot shared micromobility options that offer affordable, sustainable, and equitable transportation.

We oppose AB-1286 on two major points: This bill preempts local authority to regulate and manage bikeshare, shared electric scooter and other shared micromobility devices, and negatively impacts established and successful bikeshare systems as well as stifling the growth of a thriving industry segment.

Authority to regulate and manage bikeshare, shared electric scooters and other shared micromobility devices must remain at the local level. It is local authorities who know their communities best and are positioned to create standards for system implementation that meet community needs; local regulatory control over systems and devices operating in the public right of way must be maintained, including honoring local process for determining regulation.

  • This bill preempts local control in how bikeshare and shared micromobility is launched and regulated. Local authority has been a long-standing key to the success of bikeshare and shared micromobility systems, and many of these municipalities start the process with a pilot. The requirement that local governments must adopt “operation, parking, maintenance, and safety rules” prior to these services being offered restricts cities from piloting a bike or scooter share program. It is unnecessary to restrict local government in this way. It is local authorities who know their communities best and are positioned to create standards for system implementation that meet community needs.
  • AB-1286 would create broad preemption for an industry that is operational, safe and established. The bikeshare industry has been responsibly operating and permitted in California cities through programs such as San Francisco’s Ford GoBike, LA’s Metro Bikeshare, and many more, with little to no implementation or public safety issues.

This bill negatively impacts established and successful bikeshare systems as well as stifling the growth of a thriving industry segment. The waiver restriction particularly puts unnecessary regulations on publicly available shared micromobility fleets that would lead to an untenable business environment for providers.

  • Section 2505 (2) This bill could force bikeshare operators to substantially raise the price of their service and/or simply go out of business. Bikeshare operators already have permits for the city that require them to maintain general liability insurance. This bill also would take away the long-standing practice for bikeshare operators to require a waiver from the rider on behalf of both the operator and the local permitting authority, which would increase the liability exposure of the local municipality, make insurance too expensive to maintain current pricing structures.
  • This bill puts a burden on communities that rely on bikeshare programs for a sustainable, low-cost transit option. Bikeshare is often integrated into the local municipal transit app and provide an alternative form of public transportation on behalf of the hosting municipality. Bikeshare providers generally have responded to municipal requests for proposals, use state and federal funds to purchase their capital equipment, and are most often in public-private partnership with the local municipality.

NABSA respectfully requests that the California Senate not advance AB-1286 with the inclusion of unnecessary prescriptive rules placed on local governments of Section 2505 (c)(1) and the waiver prohibition in Section 2505 (2).

Updated 6/11/19: NABSA has sent letters of opposition to leadership of both the referred Senate committees: Judiciary and Governance & Finance.