On Nov. 16, 2019, the County Board adopted regulations for Micro-Mobility Devices that allow their use on sidewalks (with limitations), trails, and bike lanes, unless specifically signed or marked otherwise. The County’s adopted ordinance went into effect on Dec. 31, 2019. More details are available in the Board Report and the specific ordinance language.
Micro-Mobility Devices include pedal bikes, electric power-assisted bicycles (e-bikes), motorized scooters (e-scooters), and motorized skateboards. Since most of these devices do not use docking stations, the County has installed corrals to encourage proper parking.
Interested operators must submit the following documentation to be considered for a permit to operate under this program:
- Permit and Application Form – updated Dec. 3, 2019
Transition from Pilot to Permit Program:
- Effective Jan. 1, 2020, any company that was operating under the pilot will need to remove their devices from the County public right-of-way UNLESS they have applied for a permit under the new ordinance by Dec. 31, 2019.
- Companies operating under the pilot that have applied for a permit under the new program will be allowed to continue operating as “applicants” UNTIL a decision about awarding new permits takes effect.
- All the rules under the new ordinance and permit program go into effect Jan. 1, 2020 (e.g., speed limits, sidewalk-riding, etc.).
- Permit applications from operators not presently operating in the County will be accepted at any time; however, the availability of permits will depend on several factors including any established Countywide cap and the approved fleet sizes from permitted operators.
Questions & Answers from Operators
- Will the surety bond be required to be in place at the time of submittal or after the applicant receives a permit to operate for 2020?
After application submittal, the applicant should wait to receive notice of awarded fleet size and then provide the surety bond along with the annual operations fee.
- Is the County asking applicants to address the strategies from each goal directly outlined in the application package or to address all strategies listed in the Master Transportation Plan?
The applicant should focus on the strategies listed in the permit application as staff felt these strategies were most relevant to the permit. However, if the applicant feels that another strategy is relevant, they are welcome to include that strategy within their application.
- Where is the equity zone?
After clicking this link, download the interim map by clicking on the three dots to the right of the “Arlington GLUP” header and selecting “Download KML”.
Report an Issue
If you wish to report an issue about a Shared Micro-Mobility Device in Arlington, contact information for each operator is listed below. Operators can usually resolve an issue quickly, but if an issue is not resolved in a timely or satisfactory manner, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bird (e-scooters): 866-205-2442 or email@example.com
- Bolt (e-scooters): 866-265-8143 and firstname.lastname@example.org
- JUMP (e-scooters): 844-505-9155 / (e-bikes): 833-300-6106; online request form
- Lime (e-scooters): 888-546-3345 or online request form
- Lyft (e-scooters): 628-230-0317 or email@example.com
- Razor (e-scooters): 833-5278-6453, Sharesupport@razorusa.com
- Skip (e-scooters): 844-929-2687 and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Spin (e-scooters): 888-262-5189 or email@example.com
Learn about options for renting e-scooters without needing a smartphone and at reduced rates.
Pilot Evaluation Report
The County Board approved a pilot program in fall 2018 to help manage e-scooter and e-bike operators and determine how to best regulate these devices. The following report provides the results of the evaluation of the original nine-month Arlington County Shared Mobility Device Pilot Program. It includes trends in device deployment, usage and feedback from the community. The evaluation report informed the County Board’s decision to approve a permanent permit program.
- Evaluation Report – September 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions and answers are intended to provide guidance for the public on the use of these devices in Arlington:
- Who owns the micro-mobility devices (i.e. e-scooters and e-bikes)?
These devices belong to private operators and some are personally owned by residents and visitors to the County.
- Are micro-mobility devices legal in Arlington? Can the County Board ban the devices outright?
Virginia law recognizes e-scooters, e-bikes, and similar devices as vehicles when operating on the highway. They are allowed to be ridden in the County.
The County cannot ban the devices outright, but the County can prohibit companies that offer these devices for hire from parking them on County right-of-way and property.
- Are e-scooters and e-bikes part of Capital Bikeshare?
No, these vehicles are not a part of the Capital Bikeshare system unless they are clearly labeled as such.
- What are the top speeds of micro-mobility devices?
The County Code allows e-scooters to travel up to 15 mph and e-bikes up to 20 mph in the street and on multi-use trails. When riding on the sidewalk, riders must travel no faster than 6 mph, using the device’s speedometer to regulate their speed.
- How many micro-mobility devices will come to Arlington?
The County Manager has set the initial Countywide fleet cap for 2020 at 2,000 e-scooters and 1,000 e-bikes. Permits may be approved up to that amount; however, the Manager may increase or reduce the Countywide cap at any time.
Once an operator is allocated a permitted fleet size, if the operator is able to demonstrate sufficient demand for their devices (i.e. an average of 3+ trips/device/day over a calendar month) and compliance with the terms of the permit, then they may request additional devices on a month-by-month basis.
- What can I do if a micro-mobility device is left on my property and I want it removed? How about if it is blocking a sidewalk?
If you are physically capable of moving the mis-parked micro-mobility device to a proper location, please do so.
Alternatively, call the company to request they remove it. Contact information for each company is provided above. The company name and contact information are also on the stem near the handlebars, in English and braille. They are required by the new permit program to remove the device within 2 hours of a report of mis-parking.
Using a Micro-Mobility Device
- If I want to try one of these devices, how do I do it?
The devices are accessed using company-specific smartphone apps. Download the app onto your smartphone, complete the registration and payment information process, and the app will provide you access to that company’s devices.
- Are there age restrictions for e-scooters?
There are no State-established age restrictions for scooter-riding other than riders 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older. However, e-scooter operators have placed age restrictions on the use of their services through their user agreements. Companies typically require riders to be 18 years of age or older.
- Do I have to wear a helmet when riding a micro-mobility device?
The State has, and the County enforces, helmet requirements for bicycle-riding by people 14 years of age or younger. E-scooters are not currently included in the State’s helmet requirement. The County encourages all riders of micro-mobility devices to wear a helmet.
- Where am I allowed to ride these devices?
Riders may use streets, sidewalks, or trails unless otherwise banned by signage prohibiting such use. When a protected bike lane is available in the direction of travel, e-scooter and e-bike riders must use it instead of the sidewalk.
Additionally, some sidewalks with high pedestrian usage will have the prohibiting signage. This map shows prohibited locations.
- What are the new signs and stencils on the sidewalk showing e-scooters and e-bikes?
To help riders understand where they may legally ride e-scooters and e-bikes, the County is installing sidewalk stencils and signage at the beginning of each protected bike lane and other high pedestrian usage sidewalks, both where sidewalk-riding is prohibited. Staff will evaluate reception and effectiveness and may add or modify stencils and signage as needed.
Here is a sample of these new signs and stencils:
- How can I request that the County prohibit e-scooters and e-bikes from a section of sidewalk that is not adjacent to a protected bike lane?
Staff are developing criteria that will be used to evaluate the appropriateness of sidewalk prohibitions where there are no protected bike lanes.
- Do pedal bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters have different traffic laws?
Pedal bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters, as well as skateboards, must abide by the same laws as all other vehicles in terms of obeying posted traffic regulations, signs and signals, aka “the rules of the road.”
- Where should I park a micro-mobility device at the end of my trip?
Refer to the adopted ordinance of the County Code, Section 14.2-65.F, for the specific parking requirements that apply to these devices. As a rule, be considerate when you park. Consider parking your device in one of the County’s corrals.
- Do not block the walkway portion of the sidewalk
- Do not block ADA curb ramps
- Do not block fire hydrants
- Do not block bus stops
- Do not block travel lanes
- Do not block driveways
- Do not block entrances to buildings, including near ramp or walkway railings and ADA door push buttons
- Do not obstruct sidewalk seating, whether public benches or outdoor dining
- Do not park on private property unless the owner allows it
- Can I ride from Arlington into neighboring municipalities or vice versa?
Possibly. Check the company’s mobile app to determine where they offer service before you start your trip.