Community News

Alexandria Says Yes to 400 Helbiz e-Bikes and e-Scooters

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Helbiz, a global leader in micro-mobility, has been awarded a permit to operate both its innovative e-bikes and e-scooters in Alexandria, making it the only company to offer both transportation solutions in the market.

This permit follows the launch approval of Alexandria’s City Council to move into a Phase II pilot of the dockless mobility program.

“We’re excited to be on-the-ground in Alexandria, offering sustainable last mile transportation options for the community,” said Gian Luca Spriano, Director of International Business Development.

“After being awarded the permit to operate in D.C., our vision was always to build a strong hub in the broader area so that more locals could easily access micro-mobility solutions. We look forward to partnering closely with Alexandria’s Department of Transportation to ensure that residents’ safety is prioritized, and all regulatory standards are met.”

Helbiz will operate 200 e-scooters and 200 e-bikes in Alexandria, which will be deployed in the coming weeks until the end of the year. Residents will be able to easily access the fleets on the Helbiz app and choose which device they prefer.

Phase II Alexandria Scooter Pilot Program

In December 2019 Alexandria City Council approved a Phase II Pilot program beginning in January 2020.  Key changes from the first pilot include:

  • More equitable distribution of scooters across the City.
  • A ban on riding scooters on any sidewalk in the City
  • Establishment of an Ad-Hoc Scooter Task-Force
  • Stricter requirements of scooter companies including data sharing requirements and increased permit fees
  • Installation of additional parking corrals
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson (far right), City Councilman John Chapman, and City Councilwoman Del Pepper at George Washington Middle School on Earth Day, April 27, 2019. (Facebook photo)

Scooter Task Force

As part of the action in December, the City Council approved the creation of an Ad Hoc Scooter Task Force.  The application portal was open through 11:59 PM on February 10 and is now closed. Members of the Task Force will be notified soon and will include:

One (1) Business representatives, including the retail, restaurant or hospitality sector

Four (4) citizens at-large representing different areas/neighborhoods of the City; at least one shall be a current member of an Alexandria civic association

One (1) person who is a transportation professional in the private sector or in government at the federal, state, or local level

One (1) person representing transportation advocacy organizations

One (1) person who represents and uses transit and shared mobility interests

More information about Task Force meetings will be posted once a schedule is available.

“During the 2019 Phase I Dockless Pilot Program, the City worked through challenges and made some adjustments to better manage the program,” says the City’s website.

Electric scooters on North Washington Street. (Zebra File Photo)

Scooter Challenges

The City Council admits that while scooters have been used for around 286,000 trips (through December 2019), issues such as improper parking, unsafe riding and reporting are challenges that require additional regulation and oversight. In order for the City to continue to (and more strictly) regulate scooter companies and riders, a Phase II pilot program with additional recommendations was proposed and approved.

The City began accepting permit applications from operators in January and will continue to throughout 2020. All operators are required to sign the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding, which described the City’s requirements and expectations. Permits have been issued to Lime, Bird, Razor, Spin, and Helbiz.

For more information, visit the City’s page on Dockless Mobility.

Did You See? City Manager Sets Aside $6 Million to Reopen Holmes Run Trail

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

Related Articles

Back to top button