Dallas council debates permitting for bike share companies

Dallas city leaders on Monday discussed ways to start regulating bike share bikes across the city.

It's been less than a year since multiple bike share companies started to arrive in Dallas. After waiting, the council is poised to implement rules on where the bikes can be parked and how much the companies should pay to operate in the city.

City employees estimate there's anywhere between 10-15,000 bikes in Dallas as of the start of the month.

The city's department of transportation laid out several options for charging bike share companies for permits to operate in the city. But council members and bike share companies raised concerns the fees may be too high.

One of the options included charging companies a dollar a vehicle per day to operate in addition to other fees, which could add up to millions for bike share companies depending on the number of bikes they have. The fees could go toward more bike lanes or parking enforcement and impounding the bikes if needed.

There were also concerns and questions on which city department will be in charge of enforcing these new regulations on bike share.

“So I'm trying to find out how, what is the business plan? If you're going to create a law, a rule, how many people are you going to need to enforce this? How are you going to do it and who are those people,” said councilman Tennell Atkins.

Some companies like LimeBike are also trying to bring electric scooters to Dallas, which by law are currently not allowed in the city. All but one of the council members in the meeting said they could not support allowing scooters in the city until they get proper regulations on bike share first.

The plan is to give a briefing on the new ordinance to the full city council next month with a vote possibly on May 23.