OCEAN CITY — The first formal step toward prohibiting dockless bicycle share programs and electric scooters took place this week.
The Mayor and Council had before them Tuesday a proposed ordinance that would ban dockless bicycle share programs and stand-up electric scooter share programs, which have become increasingly popular in metropolitan areas in recent years. In simplest terms, private businesses often flood metropolitan areas with hundreds of bicycles or electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, which can be rented by consumers using a smartphone app.
Using the app, an individual can grab one of the bicycles or e-scooters, ride it to their destination and simply leave it where they no longer need it. Others can then pick up the same bikes or scooters and use their app to take them where they want to go. The private companies then round them all back up and drop them off at locations where there is the highest demand. During a meeting last month, the police Commission voiced concern about the growing phenomenon coming to Ocean City. Among the issues raised was the possibility of potentially hundreds of bicycles and e-scooters cluttering the streets of the resort where consumers just left them when they were finished riding them. As a result, the police commission sought the advice of City Solicitor Guy Ayres on how to ban the share programs. During Tuesday’s work session, the council was presented with a draft ordinance prepared by Ayres that would prohibit the proliferation of bicycle and e-scooter sharing programs in Ocean City.