Have you noticed there are fewer of the free-roaming dockless bikes in the neighborhood? A ‘bike gone rogue,’ painted a subtle white, was even removed from my alley. In July two bike share companies pulled out of the city, citing the new regulations that require dockless bikes be locked to signs or bike racks. Weren’t those regulations a genteel way of saying ‘knock it off and stop clogging up sidewalks and blocking wheelchairs?’
However, dockless bikes have served the transportation needs of more than a few residents, tourist and commuters. According to the Department of Transportation (DDOT), since the pilot began in 2017, users have taken more than 940,000 trips on dockless bikes and scooters.
The public is being asked to weigh in on the DDOT framework of how to regulate the city’s Dockless Vehicle program.
The new regulations will guide the process for how permits for dockless vehicles will be issued in 2019 and allow DDOT to begin charging fees to companies that operate in the District.
DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said, “This permitting process gets us closer to achieving Mayor Bowser’s sustainable transportation goals by requiring dockless operators to prioritize safety, equitable access, and good stewardship of public space.”
The rulemaking also sets forth specific requirements for dockless companies operating in public space to:
- Equip all vehicles with unique identifiers
- Require a locking mechanism for bikes
- Share data with DDOT
- Make a minimum number of vehicles available in all eight wards
Residents should submit written feedback on the proposed rulemaking to firstname.lastname@example.org during the 30-day public comment period that begins Friday October 26, 2018 and concludes November 26, 2018.