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City-County Council approves proposal to regulate scooters on Indy streets

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night passed a proposal to deal with rentable electric scooters.

The full council spent more than an hour discussing Proposal 120, which authorizes the Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services to develop regulations for scooter companies.

The proposal includes a $15,000 permit fee that the scooter companies must pay to operate in the city. They will also have to pay $1 per day per scooter.

A $25 ticket would be issued if the scooters are found parked illegally.

There would be a separate fee if the city has to impound a scooter.

The city recently asked both Bird and Lime-S to halt operations while it works out regulations.

On Monday night, a representative from Lime said the company intends to apply for a permit when those are available.

The council debated the measure for more than an hour, as they weighed whether or not to pass the measure. 

Supporters argued it holds motorized scooter companies accountable. They have to apply for permits every year. Additionally, without any framework, city officials said the motorized scooter companies would reopen without any regulations.

They said it would not help concerns about safety that opponents brought up.

Several city-county councilors wanted to not vote on the ordinance Monday night, instead wanting to wait for more details on how the city or the companies would handle enforcing bad actors. 

They said constituents have reached out saying there have been many near accidents and dangerous scooter riders. 

Lime officials said they take safety very seriously and want to become immersed into the community to address concerns. There are 15 full-time staff that are based in Indianapolis. 

Officials said while it would be tough, there are measures they want to take to ban dangerous riders from using the scooters.  

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