Rent a scooter in DC that you don’t have to share

Unagi, founded in 2018, lets individuals pay a monthly fee for unlimited scooter use, and keep it in their own possession. (Courtesy Unagi Scooters)

Oakland, California-based electric scooter maker Unagi has brought its e-scooter rental program to the D.C. area, which lets individuals pay a monthly fee for unlimited scooter use, and keep scooters in their own possession.

Unagi, founded in 2018, has also just added Chicago to its scooter rental availability. It launched the rental program in New York and Los Angeles last summer, and has since added Austin, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle.

It’s “All-Access” service is a flat $49 a month for a pay-as-you-go plan, or $39 a month with an annual commitment. There is a one-time $50 setup fee, and the company initially delivers the scooters via FedEx within 72 hours. The rental subscription includes maintenance and replacement parts, and full insurance against theft or damage.

You can choose your color.

The premium scooters have folding handlebars, making it possible to carry them into offices or homes. The Unagi Model One, which is what it offers in the All-Access program, weighs about 26 pounds, has a maximum speed of 20 mph and 1,000 watts of power. They have horns and headlights, and there are no visible wires.

Unagi also sells its scooters outright. The Model One dual motor model costs almost $1,000.

In the D.C. area, signing up for the Unagi personal scooter rentals are available to residents in the District and most of the D.C. suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. Unlike shared e-scooters, riders are not limited to service areas where shared scooter companies are allowed to operate. The scooters can be taken anywhere, even outside the D.C. metro area.

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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