In November 2021, the City Council approved a permanent Dockless Mobility program. Docket materials from the meeting can be found here. City Code now states that the City Manager can set an overall cap on the number of scooters and e-bikes that can be permitted to companies through the micromobility program. The cap has been set at 1,200 scooters and 800 e-bikes. This cap on devices can be modified in the future as needed. To allow for staff time to coordinate the permanent program, the Phase 2 Pilot was extended to spring 2022. The four companies (Lime, Bird, Link, and Helbiz) that operated in the City in the Phase 2 Pilot in 2021 applied for permits to operate scooters in the permanent program. Three of the companies (Lime, Bird, and Helbiz) also applied for permits to operate e-bikes. Lime was approved to operate 250 scooters and 50 e-bikes, Bird was approved to operate 500 scooters and 50 e-bikes, and Link was approved to operate 450 scooters, and Helbiz was approved to operate 100 e-bikes. The permit term will be for one year, beginning April 2022.
Ad Hoc Scooter Task Force
In July 2021, staff shared a written update to City Council on the status of the Phase II Pilot Program, including input from the community collected through focus groups, the Ad Hoc Scooter Task Force, and meetings with key stakeholder boards, commissions, etc. The written update to Council can be found here. More information about the Task Force can be found here .
Phase II Pilot Program
During the 2019 Phase I Dockless Pilot Program, the City worked through challenges and made some adjustments to better manage the program. From January to December 2019, there were around 286,000 scooter trips made in Alexandria. However, issues such as improper parking, unsafe riding, and reporting are challenges that require additional regulation and oversight. In order for the City to continue to (and more strictly) regulate scooter companies and riders, a Phase II Pilot Program with additional recommendations was approved and completed. Key changes from the first pilot included:
- More equitable distribution of scooters across the City
- A ban on riding scooters on any sidewalk in the City
- Establishment of an Ad-Hoc Scooter Task-Force
- Stricter requirements of scooter companies including data sharing requirements and increased permit fees
- Installation of additional parking corrals
Materials from the City Council meeting that provide more details on the Staff-proposed changes can be viewed here. The Dockless Mobility Pilot Evaluation Report summarizes key findings and draft recommendations from the 2019 Pilot findings and data.
The purpose of the Phase II Pilot was to evaluate changes made from Phase I, engage with the community, determine whether the City should have a permanent program, and identify the most appropriate permitting or procurement process for such a program.
City Council approved a resolution to extend the Phase II Pilot through 2021 to allow for more outreach and community engagement. The 2020 MOU was amended to authorize the extension of the pilot and required operators to meet the requirements of the terms of the 2020 MOU in 2021.
Permits for operation in 2021 were issued to Lime, Bird, Helbiz, and Link. The permitting process for 2022 is underway. All operators are required to sign the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding, which described the City's requirements and expectations.
Phase I Pilot Program
Providing Feedback and Asking Questions
If you have a question about the permanent dockless mobility program, please submit your comment via Alex311 (keyword: scooters), and staff will respond to you within the designated timeframe. If you need to provide immediate feedback on an improperly parked scooter, please see Question #4 in the FAQs below.
Equity and Access
Bird, Lime, Spin, and Razor provide low cost plans for riders who qualify:
Bird and Lime also provide non-smartphone access (SMS or call to unlock devices) and non-credit card payment options.