Electric scooter rentals could soon be coming to Santa Rosa after the City Council approved a one-year pilot program to try them out.

The council approved a program in which city officials anticipate awarding a company a permit by spring 2022 to operate 50 to 200 scooter rentals in the city.

Santa Rosa plans to open the application process for companies early next year and city officials say they will evaluate the applicants based on their ability and plans to address challenges many other cities have seen with the scooters, such as people leaving them to block sidewalks or other pathways and riding them in an unsafe manner.

The council will then receive an update before the end of the pilot period to decide whether to continue allowing the scooters or to end the program.

The scooters will not be the only new wheels available to cruise around Santa Rosa.

The city is one of several North Bay jurisdictions participating next year in the Marin-Sonoma Bikeshare Pilot Program, in which about 300 shared electric bicycles will be put near Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train stations and other parts of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael and Larkspur.

The Santa Rosa city website has more information about the bike and scooter programs.

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.