Four e-scooter companies are leaving DC

A photo of a JUMP scooter
Jump is one of four scooter companies that have been approved to stay in D.C. (WTOP/Jeff Clabaugh)

Bird, Bolt, Lime and Razor have lost their appeals to a D.C. decision not to renew their permits to operate in the city, and will exit D.C. streets by the end of March.

That hardly means there will be a shortage of e-scooters in the District though.

The D.C. Department of Transportation did approve permits in December for four scooter companies — Lyft, Jump, Skip and Spin, to operate 10,000 e-scooters — and two electric bike companies to operate 5,000 e-bikes in 2020, more than double the number of scooters and e-bikes permitted in 2019.

That is also in addition to the city’s large Capital Bikeshare program, which itself reintroduced e-bikes this spring.

Last fall, DDOT received a total of 19 applications from companies to operate dockless vehicles in D.C. in 2020. Most did not qualify under a matrix that scored companies on a number of items, including past performance and responses to an application questionnaire.

Jump is also permitted to operate its e-bikes in D.C., and newcomer HelBiz is permitted for e-bikes in the District.

DDOT says the decision on the appeals process applies only to 2020 permits and all scooter operators will be allowed to submit applications for future permit periods for the city’s Dockless Sharing Vehicle Program.

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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