After passing at the House Careers and Competition Committee on January 16, a new Florida bill that could strip local regulation of dockless bikeshare will move to the House Commerce Committee next. A companion bill in the Florida Senate has been referred to the Banking and Insurance Committee. Last week, similar legislation in the form of SB 1374 moves forward in the Oklahoma state legislature.
According to the North American Bikeshare Association, a trend of state bills preempting local control of dockless bikeshare could damage the success of current and future bikeshare systems.
“We know that the success of bikeshare, the safety of riders and the quality of the service all depend on local management and decision-making authority,” said NABSA Executive Director Samantha Herr. “As the bikeshare industry’s leading membership organization with representation from system owners, operators, host cities, equipment manufacturers and technology providers, we do not support any legislation that jeopardizes local control and threatens what’s best for bikeshare as a whole.”
In December 2017, Florida House of Representatives and Senate introduced bills SB 1304 and HB 1033. If passed, the bills would remove the power of Florida cities to regulate local bikeshare systems and mandate a statewide bikeshare policy that does not account for safety standards, equipment quality, maintenance, customizability and customer service unique to each city. As written, these bills would preempt any existing contracts and provisions Florida cities have with bikeshare providers.
“Bikeshare is not one size fits all,” said Herr. ”These bills would negate the investment and success of existing bikeshare systems currently providing important services in their communities and potentially subject the public to unnecessary safety hazards in the process,” says Herr.
With its letter of opposition, NABSA urges the Florida Legislature to defeat the bills and maintain the industry standard for local control of bikeshare across the United States.