Washington D.C. transportation officials have opened a public comment period for proposed changes to the city’s permitting of electric scooter companies. At present, the city has provided permits to eight companies; the new ruling would reduce this to four, but boost the total number of scooters these four companies would be allowed to deploy to 10,000, or 2,500 each.
The above screenshot from the DDOT website shows the present breakdown of scooter providers and the number of individual scooters each has on city’s streets. The present total is just over 5,600. The ruling, if accepted, would represent a 61% increase in the number of dockless vehicles, while reducing the lien on DDOT to monitor a larger number of providers.
The regulations would raise the minimum number of scooters the companies would have to deploy daily, from 100 to 500, and restrict the maximum number of scooters the companies could offer in the city’s Central Business District, to 1,000 each. These provisions are meant to make shared electric scooters more accessible across the city, as explained in DDOT’s proposal. The companies would have to deploy at least 400 scooters throughout various “equity emphasis areas” comprising just over a quarter of the city.
The area’s Transportation Planning Board has identified “significant concentrations of low-income and or minority populations” within the city, and the new proposal aims to level mobility access in these areas.
Moreover, the proposal changes how quickly dockless vehicle operators could grow their fleets in he city. With DDOT’s approval, companies would potentially be able to double their fleet sizes twice per year. At present, firms can request 25% increases each quarter. Public comments on the proposed rules are open through October 7.