Four electric scooter companies and two e-bike companies have been given the green light by the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) for next year, while four other electric scooter operators will no longer be active in the city.
The businesses that received permits for D.C.’s 2020 dockless vehicle program will be running 10,000 e-scooters and 5,000 e-bikes in the District, which is almost a 60 percent increase from this year’s figures.
However, out of the 19 dockless vehicle operators that applied for the 2020 program — five for motorized bicycles and 13 for scooters — four were disqualified as their devices did not meet the DDOT’s requirements, and only four scooter operators were able to get permits. For 2019, eight applications had been accepted.
According to the Department’s announcement on Tuesday, four permitted businesses are Jump (E-bike and Scooter), Lyft (Scooter), Skip (Scooter) and Spin (Scooter). In addition to Jump, HelBiz has also been granted permission for operating e-bikes.
— DDOT DC (@DDOTDC) December 3, 2019
Bird, Lime, Razor and Usain Bolt’s Bolt scooters, which are currently together circulating thousands of vehicles around the District, will now have to withdraw them. Especially Lime and Bird have been extremely popular with scooter riders in the city.
“The 2020 dockless vehicle program continues to prioritize the safety of the traveling public and the privacy of scooter riders,” the DDOT’s statement said, adding that 100 off-sidewalk parking corrals, designed for dockless scooters and bikes will be installed in the coming months across all eight wards of the District.
Another development in relation to dockless vehicle safety was Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh‘s introduction of a bill in early November. As chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, Cheh complained in a D.C. Council hearing that many scooter users did not follow safety rules while they rode among pedestrians and cars at high speeds.
She also mentioned that scooters often left on sidewalks block pedestrians’ walkways, private driveways, and handicapped-accessible ramps.
The District’s dockless vehicle program is aiming to help proceed Mayor Muriel Bowser’s “goal to provide accessible transportation options across all eight wards,” DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said in a statement in July.