Lyft scooters hit DC streets

WASHINGTON — Ride-hailing company Lyft joins the dockless electric scooter experiment in the District, rolling out its own Lyft-branded scooters across D.C.

It is Lyft’s first scooter launch on the East Coast.

The District continues its pilot program for dockless bikes and scooters until at least the end of this year, but the District Department of Transportation hopes to have a long-term plan with rules for dockless vehicles hammered out by next year.

Lyft scooters, limited to no more than 400 under terms of the District’s pilot program, will be deployed in all eight District wards, Lyft said. It initially launched in D.C. with more than 250 scooters and says it will reach 400 within the next week.

Lyft’s scooters join other dockless bikes and scooters being operated several private companies in the District, including Bird, Jump, Spin and Lime. Lime has dropped bikes from its D.C. fleet, in favor of just scooters.

Lyft rival Uber owns Jump.

A Lyft scooter is competitively priced at $1 to unlock it and 15 cents for each minute your ride. That includes reservation and hold time as well.

Lyft cites its own Economic Impact Report as saying 33 percent of Lyft passengers in D.C. say owning a personal vehicle is less important to them.

Lyft says it plans to expanded its scooters to an additional 10 cities by the end of the year.

DDOT, which has field many complaints about where dockless bikes and scooters end up parked, is working with the companies to find solutions. A new rule requires bikes to be locked to a bike rack or other post when a user leaves them.

DDOT continues to solicit feedback from the public online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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