More than 1,000 people in the past two years have been injured while riding dockless electric scooters that have popped up in D.C. and in most major U.S. cities, according to a new study from Consumer Reports.
The dockless app-based shared scooters are already on the streets in Alexandria, Arlington and the District. And these scooters will likely come to Fairfax County despite concerns from county leaders.
About two weeks after ride hailing company Lyft deployed its first dockless electric scooters in the District, Lyft scooters are now available in Arlington County.
D.C. is set to see a surge in dockless scooters and bike-share bicycles after a dozen companies applied for the city’s new permits. The number of applicants by last week’s deadline surprised even the District Department of Transportation.
Spin has launched in D.C. with 100 scooters, and will increase its District fleet by about 50 scooters per week.
The District’s yearlong pilot program with dockless bike and scooter companies will become a permanent option for D.C. commuters in 2019, with new rules now set in stone for the companies that want to provide their vehicles in the District.
Under the proposed regulations: Every bike must come with a lock; operating companies must have at least six vehicles in each ward by 6 a.m., and every company must offer ways for people to report bikes and scooters that are parked where they shouldn’t be.
A ride on a dockless electric scooter left a local 27-year-old rider hospitalized. And though the companies that make the scooters urge their riders to wear helmets, some health experts are seeing a rise in emergency room visits due to injuries while on the scooters.
Signs in front of George Mason University’s Arlington campus in Virginia Square direct dockless electric scooter riders to park the vehicles at a nearby bike rack, rather than abandoning them at random.
There will be no major changes this year to rules for dockless bikes and shared electric scooters, the District Department of Transportation said Thursday.
Two dockless bike companies are leaving D.C., but that’s not the end of the bike services that riders can pick up and deposit anywhere in the city.
Arlington County expects to roll out a pilot program for dockless bikes and scooters this fall, clearing the way for formal agreements with the companies that operate them.
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