There’s more time to try out dockless bikeshare and let the powers that be know about it.
The District Department of Transportation said it will run the pilot program for bicycles and e-scooters that don’t need to part at a station for another four months. That puts it through the month of August.
“This extension is intended to help DDOT determine a sustainable path forward for the program,” DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said in a statement.
It will allow time to collect data during the summer months. In that time, DDOT said it will also work to remedy community concerns. According to WTOP, some residents aren’t happy about bikes that were left in the middle of sidewalks. However,
But it also appears there are issues to work out with the companies. The District saw five companies including Jump, Spin, ofo, Limebike and Mobike, introduce bikes as part of the pilot in the fall, while Bird, Waybots and Limebike all introduced e-scooters this year. Companies are allowed a max of 400 vehicles under the pilot.
According to the Washington Post, the District proposed regulations on the companies behind the scenes in recent weeks, but withdrew the proposal after pushback from the companies and the biking community. From the Post:
The regulations, which were secretly presented to the industry, outlined requirements around parking and other operating procedures. They included fees that amounted to about $200 per bike in service and required companies to implement double kickstands or “lock to” capabilities on their two-wheelers and to install bike racks in yet-to-be-designated areas to facilitate parking, according to several people who were briefed on the plans.
One company executive told the Post that the “fee size is effectively telling the private sector to go away.”
Along with addressing public concerns, it appears the pilot could offer a look at how the District regulates tech companies as they begin service in a city.
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