Arlington is developing a time-limited pilot demonstration project to provide structure to the deployment, operation and use of scooters and dockless bikes within the County and to evaluate the overall performance and gauge the impacts of these mobility devices. During this demonstration project, we expect to have a process for the community to provide feedback on these new mobility options.
Transportation staff is targeting September 2018 to bring the demonstration project to the County Manager and County Board for approval. In the meantime, the following frequently asked questions are intended to provide some guidance on the use of these devices in Arlington.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who owns these scooters and bikes?
These devices belong to private companies.
- Are these scooters and bikes legal in Arlington?
There are no regulations currently in place that would prohibit the operation and use of these devices in Arlington.
- Are these scooters and bikes part of Capital Bikeshare?
No. These devices are currently provided by entities separate from the Capital Bikeshare system. Capital Bikeshare bikes must be docked at a Capital Bikeshare station.
- I’ve seen a bunch of scooters and bikes in Arlington. How many are there? How many can we expect?
The company Bird has indicated that they have placed 50 scooters in Arlington. There are other companies with bikes and scooters operating in the District of Columbia and parts of Montgomery County, MD; we occasionally see those devices in Arlington as well.
At this point, taking into account all of these companies, there are likely no more than 100 of these devices appearing in Arlington on any given day. To the extent these services become popular with Arlington residents, workers, and visitors, we could expect to see more of them in the County over time.
- What can I do if a scooter or a bike is left on my property and I want it removed? How about if a scooter or bike is left blocking a sidewalk?
The best thing to do if one of these devices is improperly parked is to reach out to the company and ask them to remove it. Contact information for all of the companies operating in the region is provided below.
- How can I provide feedback about these services?
Each device is clearly marked with a company name or logo. You may reach out to the companies directly to give them feedback on their specific service or equipment:
- Bird: email@example.com or 866-205-2442
- Jump: firstname.lastname@example.org or 833-300-6106
- Lime: email@example.com or 888-546-3345
- Mobike: firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-786-4445
- Ofo: email@example.com or 844-289-9747
- Skip: firstname.lastname@example.org or 844-929-2687
- Spin: email@example.com or 888-262-5189
You may also reach out to Arlington County at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide general feedback on your experience with the devices that are currently in the County, or your ideas and opinions on the direction the County should take with its demonstration project and future regulations.
Using Scooters and Dockless Bikes
- If I want to try one of these scooters or bikes, how do I do it?
These devices are accessed using company-specific 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 (bikes or scooters).
- If I’m using the scooters or bikes in Arlington, where should I park?
Be considerate every time you park a scooter or bike by doing your best not to obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic. The County recommends riders of these devices abide by the County Code bicycle parking regulation.
Some specific parking tips include:
- Do not block travel lanes
- Do not block driveways
- Do not block fire hydrants
- Do not block walkways
- Do not block wheelchair ramps
- Do not block access to parked cars
- Do not block bus stops
- Do not block entrances to buildings
- Do not park where you’ve been asked not to park before
- Can the scooters and bikes be ridden on sidewalks and trails?
Arlington County has no regulation that prohibits riding bikes or scooters on sidewalks. However, in County Code, the use of off-street bicycle paths (trails) by persons operating motorized vehicles is prohibited, with only a few exceptions (trail maintenance, emergency, and handicap access).
- Can I ride from Arlington into DC, Alexandria, or elsewhere outside Arlington?
Possibly. Check the company’s mobile app to determine where they offer service before you start your trip.
- Do I have to wear a helmet when riding these scooters or bikes?
While it is always a good idea to wear head protection when riding a bike or scooter, wearing a helmet for this purpose is not required by law of anyone over the age of 14 in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
If you do not own a helmet and would like one, they are generally available for purchase at any bike shop and online. The Arlington County Commuter Stores sell Capital Bikeshare-branded helmets.