Alexandria welcomes e-scooters as DC tightens regulations

Alexandria's City Council gave approval Tuesday to a pilot program that would allow electronic scooters, electric bikes and dockless bikes into the city.

The trial program will run nine months and includes limitations on the number of devices any one company may operate. The companies will also be responsible for disseminating information to users about safety and usage practices.

Scooters would not be allowed on sidewalks, according to the rules of the pilot program.

The temporary approval of scooters in Alexandria comes as the District tightens regulations on both scooters and dockless bikes.

Last week the D.C. Department of Transportation announced new rules aimed at limiting the number of devices any one company can operate. The rules also require a pricing plan for low-income users and a cash-based option. The rules, which would also include capping scooter speed at 10 mph, would go into effect in 2019.

The new regulations are already being protested by one company, Bird.

In a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser (D-Washington), Bird called for fair and practical conditions and said the conditions as proposed would be impossible for the company to follow.

The scooters have been criticized for safety reasons or the fact that many riders ignore the rules about where in the District one can ride on sidewalks.

In September, a man died after an SUV hit him while he was riding a scooter in Dupont Circle.