DC riders to be refunded close to $90K after ‘improper notice’ on scooter parking fines

D.C. riders will soon receive refunds from Lyft for paying electric scooter parking fines after an investigation revealed riders weren’t given proper notice.

D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb said e-scooter and ride-share company Lyft agreed to return almost $90,000 to consumers after the company failed to disclose the amount of fines for improper parking.

Additionally, Lyft will pay the city $20,000 and make changes to its systems to properly inform consumers of the rules and repercussions of parking fines.

“D.C. residents and visitors enjoy a wide variety of options for getting around the city, including electric scooters, and the District’s scooter parking rules help keep our streets and sidewalks safe for everyone,” Schwalb said.

The attorney general’s office launched an investigation after numerous consumers were caught off guard when they were charged $26.50 in parking fines, including taxes, only finding out after receiving their credit card statements.

D.C. implemented a law in 2021 that required scooters to be locked up when they are parked.

The investigation concluded that Lyft didn’t sufficiently disclose the cost of fines in advance and didn’t include a list of fines in its app. Though the company said it was sending out emails about parking violations, issues with its internal systems had stopped a large number of the notifications from going out.

As a result, Lyft cooperated with the investigation and made the necessary changes and restitution.

“We appreciate its cooperation throughout this investigation and its willingness to do the right thing for D.C. consumers as soon as our team brought these issues to the company’s attention,” Schwalb said.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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