Atlanta Places Temporary Ban On New Dockless Devices And E-Scooters

Jul 25, 2019

The city of Atlanta will stop accepting permits for dockless devices, like e-scooters and bikes, until Aug. 5.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order Thursday, telling the department of planning to stop issuing any new permits for the scooters.

The first of the scooters showed up in Atlanta last May, before any regulations were in place. In January, the city’s council passed new rules requiring companies to get an annual permit. It cost $12,000 for the first 500 scooters.

Since then, the city has issued permits to nine companies, though only seven have devices on the street.  

Department of Planning Commissioner Tim Keane said the city has to catch up with the new technology.

"And it's critically important that we do this carefully to protect people on scooters and not on scooters,” he said.

There have already been two scooter related deaths in the city this year, with the most recent coming about a week ago. That one led to protesters forming a human protected bike lane downtown.

Related: Atlanta Residents Form Human Protected Bike Lane, Call For Safer Streets

Keane said they have issued permits for 12,700 devices, but there are currently 5,500 in operation. From February through June, there were about 2.3 million trips on the devices, covering some 2.3 million miles.

Atlanta is not following other cities such as Athens and Lilburn which placed temporary bans on the scooters to figure out legislation before allowing. Others like Alpharetta, Marietta and Woodstock have completely banned the devices.

Bottoms will introduce legislation at the Aug. 5 city council meeting to deal with the dockless devices.