The Boston City Council passed an ordinance regarding scooters during a recent city council meeting. The unanimously-passed ordinance sets new rules and regulations to emerging scooter and other micro mobility companies.
“This is really exciting and an incredibly important step,” said Councilor Matt O’Malley.
O’Malley said he supports scooters in Boston because it gets people around while removing cars off the road, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and can generate revenue for the city.
“We are going to do it right. We are going to do it the Boston way,” said O’Malley about the ordinance.
The city can now offer licenses to micro mobility companies hoping to operate in Boston, and they can limit the number of licenses offered. The new ordinance gives the Boston Transportation Department jurisdiction over these companies and can set how many scooters a company can release into the city. Companies have to pay a $500 application fee and an annual fee that has yet to be decided.
An advisory committee will be created around the issues of micro mobility where city officials and residents can regularly discuss issues about the new transportation and handle them as they occur. They also have to submit a quarterly report on findings to the mayor.
“I can’t wait to get to work and see all of us on scooters in the future,” O’Malley added.
In other news, Councilor Althea Garrison requested a hearing over unreasonable excessive noise levels in the city.
Garrison said she has received many complaints over noise at construction zones, parties, approved city events and other areas. She hopes the hearing can help develop ways to combat the issue. Garrison believes noise levels are a quality of life issue and too much noise can lead to sleep disturbance, anxiety and hearing loss.
“We have an obligation to protect the public health,” she said.
Councilor Lydia Edwards agreed, saying this is a big issue in the North End being so close to TD Garden and popular bars and nightclubs. According to Edwards, the North End experiences two million tourists a year and often has to deal with drunken people coming from bars or the TD Garden late at night.
“Far too many people see us as tourist attraction and not the community we are,” she said.