Bolt joins Arlington scooters; top scooter complaints?

There are now seven dockless electric scooter companies operating in Arlington, Virginia, with the recent addition of Bolt, as part of the county’s pilot program to see what works and what doesn’t with dockless bike and scooter companies.

So far, it is mostly working.

There are complaints, but complaints have tapered off significantly since fall, though that may partially because of less usage during the winter months.

The Arlington County Board approved a demonstration project in September 2018, which started in October. To date, e-scooter operators include Bolt, Bird, JUMP, Lime, Lyft, Skip and Spin.

Bolt was approved for deployment Feb. 14 and went live in the county Feb. 27.

The county continues to solicit email feedback from county residents and it says the number of monthly complaints has declined from several hundred in October and November, to 75 in January.

In addition to a weather related slowdown in use, the county also believes the drop off in complaints is because of increased compliance with rules as riders and residents become more familiar.

The top issues Arlington has received about electric scooters are sidewalk riding, improper parking, unsafe rider behaviors and underage riders. (Individual companies set age restrictions in their terms of service, not the county.)

Arlington’s dockless pilot program wraps up in July, with a decision to follow about allowing dockless companies to operate permanently and under what rules and regulations.

Virginia’s Alexandria and Maryland’s Montgomery County are running their own dockless pilot programs currently.

The District implemented rules that make e-bikes and e-scooters a permanent fixture late last year.

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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