Dockless Mobility

The City of Alexandria has launched a pilot program to allow private companies to operate shared mobility devices (such as dockless bicycles and scooters available for rent) in the City under a nine month demonstration program. With multiple neighboring jurisdictions experimenting with these devices and some appearing, without permits, on the streets of Alexandria, the time is right for the City to evaluate if and how they might operate here.

Page updated on Jan 24, 2020 at 4:16 PM

What's New

2019_11_06_Alexandria Dockless Mobility Evaluation_cover

On December 14, 2019 City Council approved a Phase II Pilot program beginning in January 2020.  Key changes from the first pilot include: 

  • 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 (apply here by 11:59 PM February 10)
  • 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.  

As part of the action in December, the City Council approved the creation of an Ad Hoc Scooter Task Force (Resolution).  Members not designated by a specific Commission will be appointed by the City Manager through an application process.  The Task Force application is now live (apply here). The following positions are available: 

  • (2) Business representatives, including the retail, restaurant or hospitality sector
  • (4) citizens at-large representing different areas/neighborhoods of the City; at least one shall be a current member of an Alexandria civic association
  • (1) person who is a transportation professional in the private sector or in government at the federal, state, or local level
  • (1) person representing transportation advocacy organizations
  • (1) person who represents and uses transit and shared mobility interests

More information about Task Force meetings will be posted once a schedule is available. 


Phase II Pilot Program

During the 2019 Scooter Pilot, the City worked through challenges and made some adjustments to better manage the program. While scooters have been used for around 260,000 trips (through October 2019), 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 proposed and approved. 

The City began accepting permit applications from operators in January and will continue to throughout 2020. All operators are required to sign the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding, which described the City's requirements and expectations. Permits have been issued to Lime, Bird, Razor and Spin. 


Phase I Pilot Program

Timeline

  • In November 2018, City Council approved the pilot. The Dockless Mobility Pilot program began in January 2019. 
  • A Dockless Mobility Pilot program update to Council was released on July 23, 2019. The memo provides data, action items taken during the pilot and an outline of the steps to be taken and process for the duration of the pilot.
  • In summer and fall 2019, Staff made changes to improve the program, including geofencing, installing parking corrals, and extensive public outreach through events and a community feedback form. 
    • The City installed 13 " Parking Corrals" and requested that companies stage their devices in these locations to encourage users parking for better organization. Parking corrals are visible in company apps. No parking spaces were removed to create the parking corrals. 
    • Market Square, the City Marina, Waterfront Park, and the construction zone near King Street Metro were "geofenced" to prohibit riders from ending a trip in those areas.
    • Staff solicited community input through two non-scientific feedback forms and worked with operators to host education outreach events. 
  • In order to evaluate the data collected through September 2019 and compile a comprehensive report and recommendation for City Council in December 2019,  the pilot was extended through the end of 2019. 
  • Staff presented draft recommendations to improve the program for a Phase II pilot in 2020 in October, November and December 2019. 
  • The City accepted permit applications from operators throughout 2019. All operators were required to sign the 2019 Memorandum of Understanding, which described the City's requirements and expectations. Permits were issued to   Lime,   Lyft,   Jump,   Bird,   Bolt,   Skip, and   Spin to operate scooters and e-bikes within the City right of way.

2019 Pilot by the Numbers

  • Approximately active 15,000 users were registered with Alexandria zip codes
  • There were about 260,000 trips through October 2019
  • Nearly half of scooter riders reported that they replaced a driving trip with a scooter through the Pilot Program
  • 20 to 25 % of scooter trips started or ended near a Metro stop before the Summer 2019 Metro Shutdown (Platform Improvement Project)
  • Approximately 2/3 of complaints received in the dockless email inbox were related to parking

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. How can I provide feedback on the Phase II pilot program?

To provide feedback on the Phase II pilot program, please fill out this comment form. Comments will be reviewed and will be considered as the Pilot is evaluated. Comments or questions received via the form will not receive a response. If you have a question about the Phase II pilot program, please reach out to the City.

2. Where can I ride a shared mobility device?

Scooter riding is not permitted on sidewalks, but is allowed on streets, in bike lanes, or certain trails. Riders should always ride safely, considerately, and must follow all applicable traffic laws. Click here for a guide to safe walking and bicycling in Virginia.

3. Who is in charge of the shared mobility devices?

Individual private companies operate and maintain the shared mobility devices.

4. How do I report bikes or scooters that are left on my property or in another inappropriate location?

You should report the device to the company providing the service with the location of the device, why you are reporting it, and (if possible) the device ID number. Contact information for each company is provided on the devices, and below:

5. Where should e-bikes or scooters be parked?

Devices should be parked in a way that does not impede pedestrian or ADA access. Do not park on private property or anything that cannot be accessed by other users. Additionally, devices should not block access to:

  • Sidewalks, ramps, entrances to buildings, fire hydrants, bus stops, parked cars, travel lanes, and driveways

Follow these videos on how to appropriately park scooters or ebikes:

6. What can I do if a bike or scooter is parked inappropriately? 

If they are parked on your private property, or somewhere that impedes access, you may move the device to a more appropriate location yourself, if possible, or reach out to the company directly and request that they remove the device.

7. Is dockless bikeshare part of Capital Bikeshare?

No. Capital Bikeshare is jointly owned and operated by the City of Alexandria, District of Columbia, Arlington County, the Montgomery County, Fairfax County and Prince George's County. These shared mobility devices are not affiliated with Capital Bikeshare. Capital Bikeshare bikes must be returned to docking stations.

8. How do I sign up to use a shared mobility device?

Visit the website/mobile app of the company. You will need a separate account from Capital Bikeshare as there is no affiliation between the two.

9. How many devices can each company deploy?

Each company can deploy up to 200 devices.  They may request to expand their fleet by 25 additional devices if they show that devices are being used at least 3 times per day for a 4 week period.

10. Which companies are allowed to operate in Alexandria?

The companies that are currently permitted to operate in Alexandria include:


Equity and Access

Scooter Equity New Chart

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