Dockless scooter, bike pilot program coming to Loudoun Co. — but only a small part

Loudoun County, Virginia’s shared mobility device pilot program will restrict the ability to rent and drop off a scooter, motorized skateboard, e-bike and bicycle to areas immediately around Silver Line Metro stations in the eastern part of the county.

The county will limit the number of shared mobility devices for hire to a maximum of 1,000 devices and restrict their operation to a service area within approximately 3 miles of the Ashburn, Loudoun Gateway and Dulles International Airport Silver Line Metrorail stations.

“The county is committed to providing transportation choices that connect people to their communities, employment centers, educational institutions, activity centers and other amenities,” said Joe Kroboth, director of the county’s Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure, which is overseeing the pilot program.

Dockless mobility devices allow customers to avoid having to drop them off at a specific location. The convenience is applauded by many in search of an inexpensive way to travel a few miles, decried by those who say devices left on sidewalks pose safety risks and are unsightly.

Loudoun is Virginia’s third-largest county, with 521 square miles, stretching to the West Virginia border.

With the 3-mile limit imposed in the pilot program, scooters will not be available in historic Leesburg, or the One Loudoun development, including residences, restaurants and entertainment, as well as communities including South Riding, Stone Ridge and developments in the western, more rural parts of the county.

The county is currently seeking SMD operators to provide the devices.

The pilot program will extend at least six months past the opening of the Silver Line stations, forecast for mid-2020.

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