Bike and scooter-sharing companies implement new cleaning practices amid coronavirus outbreak

A Helbiz worker cleans the company’s scooters. (Courtesy Helbiz)
Helbiz scooters are seen being wiped down. (Courtesy Helbiz)
A Spin scooter employee sprays down equipment. (Courtesy Spin)

On a normal day, thousands of people use shared bikes and scooters to get around D.C. and suburban neighborhoods.

With concerns about the coronavirus prompting stay-at-home orders in place for the foreseeable future, ridership is down. Despite that, the companies all say they will continue normal operations, for now.

As a result of World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the companies have modified their cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and they’ve also added new safety practices.

Here’s a compilation of what some of the shared transport providers are doing during the coronavirus outbreak:

Capital Bikeshare

Capital Bikeshare is disinfecting high-contact surfaces each time a bicycle is returned to the company depot. Bikes at docking stations are being cleaned, with a special focus on high-traffic stations. Transport vans are disinfected at the start of each shift.

In addition, Capital Bikeshare has temporarily closed a number of stations surrounding the Tidal Basin and National Mall.


Helbiz, which is new to D.C., is implementing cleaning procedures similar to Capital Bikeshare, adding that it’s taking every safeguard to ensure the safety of its employees.


JUMP by Uber operates both bicycle and scooter-sharing in D.C. The company said it has increased how often employees clean its bicycles and scooters. Uber said it’s also disinfecting all JUMP vehicles going to and from its warehouses.

“Staff responsible for handling JUMP vehicles are wearing gloves and washing their hands often. We will be vigilant in our cleaning process, but we also encourage riders to clean the handles of their vehicle before and after use (for instance, with a disinfectant wipe),” said Susan Hendrick, a spokeswoman at Uber, in a statement to WTOP.

The company is urging as many people stay at home as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.


Lyft scooters are disinfected each time vans transport the vehicles and when scooters are docked for recharging. Employees wear gloves at all times when cleaning and disinfecting.


Skip operates shared scooters and it said it’s following health guidance from the CDC, the World Health Organization and local authorities.


Spin increased the frequency of its scooter fleet disinfection, with a particular focus on the upper-mast and handlebars. Work spaces within Spin are cleaned daily.

In addition, to help healthcare providers get to and from medical facilities, Spin is providing free 30-minute rides, as well as free helmets, to qualified medical personnel through April.

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