The City of Santa Monica has revoked the business license of a company that had been illegally renting go-karts on the beach bike path.

Gogogo had been renting go-karts from a parking lot near the beach bike path since late December and its founder, Jay Pak, said he knew that the devices were not permitted on the path but saw people riding scooters on the path every day and would keep operating his business until the City started enforcing the law. The City confirmed that it suspended Gogogo’s business license and vendor permit on Feb. 8.

The company’s website featured videos of customers as young as 10 zipping down the path in the high-tech go-karts, a new product designed by Segway, and promoted itself as a beachside experience.

City Council outlawed all electric and motorized devices on the path last August. The ban made explicit a long-standing moratorium on motorized transit along the beach path and clarified rules that had been called into question by the emergence of motorized scooters. It also prohibited the use of scooters on sidewalks and in parks.

Gogogo may be gone, but pedestrians are still dodging scooters on the beach path. Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta said the Santa Monica Police Department periodically enforces the ban on motorized devices, but their highest priority is preventing and responding to crime and it is impossible to keep all scooters off the beach path.

SMPD has written 1,211 citations to scooter riders since the devices arrived in Santa Monica but does not track how many it has issued on the beach path, said SMPD spokesperson Saul Rodriguez.

Gupta said that the four scooter operators licensed to operate in the city under the Shared Mobility pilot program make it clear on their apps that riding on the beach path is prohibited. They also geofence the beach path and other prohibited locations to force the devices to slow down in those areas, he said.

“It sends a strong signal that you’re not allowed to ride there, and the apps also send notifications to the riders to turn around,” Gupta said.

It would be impractical, however, to geofence the devices to shut off completely, he added.

“If the devices went dead at the bike path, you would end up with a massive accumulation of dead scooters,” he said. “If we at least get companies to enforce speed reduction, we’re enhancing safety and allowing riders to drive off the beach path and into non-prohibited areas.”

madeleine@smdp.com

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