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Lime electric scooters are 1st for Alexandria’s dockless pilot program

Lime is the first dockless electric scooter and electric bike operator to win approval in Alexandria as part of a nine-month pilot program. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

WASHINGTON — San Francisco-based dockless electric scooter and electric bike operator Lime has received a permit from the city of Alexandria, Virginia — the first operator to win approval there as part of a nine-month pilot program.

The Alexandria City Council approved the pilot in November. The city is accepting permit applications from other operators in addition to Lime.

Dockless scooters and bikes are now operating by way of formal agreements in the District, Arlington County, Virginia, and parts of Montgomery County, Maryland. While there is no formal agreement with Fairfax County, Virginia, for dockless mobility operators, there is also currently no requirement in Fairfax for such agreements.

Montgomery County has gradually expanded its pilot dockless bike program, although it does not, as of now, include electric scooters.

As of 2019, the District’s dockless program was permanent, with new restrictions on the number of scooters and bikes each company can operate, speed limitations on scooters and new requirements about how and where scooters and bikes can be parked.

D.C.’s dockless program has also expanded to up to a dozen companies that have applied or been approved.

In Alexandria, the pilot program will evaluate the safety and popularity of dockless scooters and bikes and the performance of companies that enroll in the pilot. Alexandria is also soliciting public input during the nine-month pilot.

Dockless companies are charged a one-time $5,000 permit fee in Alexandria for the pilot period, and each company will be limited to 200 total bikes and scooters, unless ridership spikes.

Alexandria has posted information about its dockless pilot online.

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