Electric scooters become latest dockless travel option in the District

- Electric scooters are becoming a new trendy way to get around the nation’s capital and several companies are taking part in a pilot program.

With traffic congestion and too few parking spaces, D.C. transportation officials are doing everything they can to get people out of vehicles and are trying to provide other ways for people to get around the city. In recent years, there has been an explosion of rental options to get around – Capital Bikeshare, dockless bikes and now – scooters.

Renting one of these electric scooters is similar to dockless bike systems. All you need is an app, scan a barcode, give it a kickstart and off you go. And they do not need to be docked.

LimeBike, one of the companies that has launched a fleet of electric scooters in D.C., says on its website it costs $1 to unlock it and a per-minute fee to ride them – usually $.15 per minute in most areas.

D.C. officials said there have been no major complaints so far with these scooters in the city, but there are a limited number on the streets.

However in San Francisco, many people are up in arms because the scooters are crowding pedestrians off sidewalks and are being parked all over the place. There have been reports of some scooters being trashed or even defaced with feces.

There have been complaints in the District with dockless bikes because people have been parking them in the middle of sidewalks, streets, parks and even on the National Mall.

For those interested in traveling around D.C. with these electric scooters, riding them on sidewalks in downtown areas of the city is prohibited – similar to bikes. Helmets are not required, but suggested.

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