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San Francisco sent a cease and desist order to an electric scooter company alleging they forged a city operating permit.

The City Attorney’s Office sent the letter dated Jan. 7 to Go X, saying they fabricated a permit using the seal of the City and County of San Francisco and San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. City officials want the company to stop operations by Jan. 18 or face seizure of its e-scooters.

In addition, the company owes $238,800 in impoundment citations connected to operation without a permit from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees the Powered Scooter Share Permit Program.

The transit agency last year distributed permits to only four e-scooter companies: Spin, Jump, Scoot and Lime.

John Coté, spokesperson for the City Attorney’s Office said in a statement:

“Go X is nothing more than a rogue company. Not only is it operating illegally, it lied to businesses about having permits approved by the City and the Chamber of Commerce. Go X seems to think it’s above the law. It couldn’t be more mistaken.”

Alexander Debelov, Go X co-founder, said Tuesday he believed he it was legal to set up the rental operation on private property, including inside businesses and hotels.

The City Attorney’s Office letter said scooters are still being left out on streets and have been impounded by the Department of Public Works.

Debelov claims he worked with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

However, a letter from Chamber of Commerce President Rodney Fong disputes that they gave permission to use their logo or issued any scooter permit, pointing out that the chamber is not a government entity.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin, CIty Attorney Dennis Herrera and Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru announce The City is now accepting applications for its motorized scooter permit program in San Francisco, Calif., on May 24, 2018.

Fong wrote:

“The Chamber does not agree to or condone this use of our logo or the statement it represents.”

Debelov argues that City Attorney’s Office, the SFMTA and DPW received documentation and a copy of a chamber-issued permit.

Still, Debelov said the company wants to operate legally.

He said:

“Our goal is to make sure we get authorization by Jan. 18.”

Vice chair of the SFMTA Board of Directors Gwyneth Borden said at Tuesday’s meeting that it was “quite spectacular” that the company created a false permit using the city chamber’s logo.

Borden said:

“That is just next level craziness.”

She added:

“This company chose not to follow the rules.”

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco. He is a San Francisco native who works out of City Hall. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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