DDOT Addresses Inequities in Access to Dockless Transportation (1-16-19)

With its new regulations for operating dockless vehicles, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) displays a commitment to ensuring the availability of dockless technology in SE DC.

By DFHV Interim Director David Do

The frustration expressed by dockless vehicle operators over limits on their fleet sizes has received some media coverage, but there’s another newsworthy aspect of DDOT’s changes to its Dockless Vehicles Program for 2019—ensuring that dockless vehicles are available in all eight wards of DC.

Data obtained by the research firm Coord from four companies operating dockless scooters in the District revealed that none of them offered any scooter availability in Anacostia. This exemplifies the ongoing issue of access to transportation options in Wards 7 and 8, where dockless technology could serve as a low-cost first and last mile transportation solution.

As of January, dockless vehicle operators are required to deploy at least six vehicles in each ward by 6:00 a.m. daily. They must also offer payment options that do not require a smartphone for trip rentals, as well as cash-payment options and low-income pricing plans. According to DDOT, this includes providing “unlimited trips under 30 minutes to any customer with an income level at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.”

DDOT issued a press release on Friday, December 21st, 2018 to announce that conditional approval for permits to operate dockless vehicles in 2019 was granted to Hopr (motorized bikes and electric scooters), Jump (motorized bikes), Lyft (electric scooters), Razor (electric scooters), Ridecell (motorized bikes and electric scooters), Skip (electric scooters), Spin (electric scooters), and Wind (electric scooters).

Additionally, DDOT is still in the process of “conforming technical details and the operators’ ability to meet all requirements” for Bird (electric scooters), Jump (electric scooters), Lime (motorized bikes and electric scooters), Riide (motorized bikes), and VeoRide (electric scooters). If those operators can sufficiently demonstrate their ability to meet DDOT’s terms and conditions, their permits will be granted no later than March 2nd, 2019.

Although dockless operators will initially only be allowed 600 vehicles per permit, they can be issued a quarterly fleet expansion of 25% per permit based on their performance. This means that companies operating both dockless scooters and motorized bikes could be operating more than 2,300 vehicles total by the fourth quarter of 2019.

A New Day At DFHV (December 2018)

Greetings Washingtonians,

I am honored to join the Department of For-Hire Vehicles as Interim Director. As a seasoned urban planner with a keen interest in transportation, I envision a transportation ecosystem that moves people reliably, efficiently, and safely across our city.

My journey to Washington, DC began in San Jose, California, where I grew and became the first in my family to graduate from college. As an undergrad at the University of California, Merced, I decided to apply to the UCDC Program that took me to Washington, DC for my final semester. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Spending time in one of the most progressive cities in the country gave me the perspective that there are like-minded, hard-working people here that are trying to achieve their goals and dreams.

I previously served as the Director of the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA), a role I held for more than three years. Before that, I served in the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) of Washington, DC during the administrations of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Mayor Vincent C. Gray. I also worked with various community-based organizations to promote capital improvement grants at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). Through these experiences, I have gained a unique understanding of the District of Columbia and its most pressing issues.

As Interim Director of the DFHV, I am committed to a thriving for-hire market that supports Mayor Bowser’s Vision Zero plan, which protects pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists alike. Moreover, I want to see how we can incentivize green infrastructure so that drivers will find it more advantageous to use alternative-fuel vehicles.  I also intend to continue innovating and using big data in a way that is consistent with the vision of the Bowser administration.

I want to ensure that there is a transportation landscape where multiple types of for-hire services can exist. I want the DFHV to continue to ensure that for-hire vehicle operators serve our community safely. I also want to further improve the complaint process for not only the public but for drivers, too.

From for-hire vehicles to buses, bike share, dockless options, walking, and a reliable Metro system, having diverse transportation options benefits everyone in all eight wards. Innovative transportation options move us toward a more accessible DC. We want to position transportation as a service to overcome barriers to obtaining a ride, such as lacking funds, a disability, or neighborhood location. We need to look at transportation as a means of ensuring that all people can get to their essential daily activities safely.

When I’m not serving the District, you can find me at some of my favorite spots in DC. Almost every Saturday morning at 8:00, I enjoy a bagel at Buffalo & Bergen in Union Market and then head to a cycling class. I like going to Pub and the People after a long day of work for a beer and a great burger (tip: their cauliflower tempura with hoisin sauce is pretty good). I get dim sum in Logan Circle every Sunday morning at Da Hong Pao. The line is long, but they have the best dim sum in the city (tip: the bar is first come, first served). I’m an avid Capitals fan. Last year, I went to the playoffs to see them beat the Penguins. #RocktheRed

The DFHV will play a crucial role in managing the evolution of transportation and the for-hire industry. I look forward to working together with operators, drivers, stakeholders, passengers, and the public to achieve our shared goal of ensuring residents and visitors have safe, affordable, and accessible transportation options.

 David Do, Interim DFHV Director

If You See Something Say Something (October 2018)

Recently, Mayor Bowser unveiled proposals to make our roads safer for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. These include banning right turn on red at 100 locations, enhancing protections around school zones and intersections near bike lanes, and stiffer penalties for dangerous driving behavior.

As part of the District’s Vision Zero strategy, DFHV Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) will continue outreach and enforcement of bike lane violations and unsafe driving maneuvers by Uber, Lyft, Via, taxi, and limo drivers.

To help with road safety we ask that you tweet or email pictures or videos of alleged violations. If you see something say something – VIOs patrol 24/7 to help reduce traffic-related accidents and fatalities.

Transportation as a Service (TaaS)(September 2018)

The Fiscal Year begins October 1 and DFHV has an ambitious initiative to ensure all District residents have access to transportation.

Transportation as a Service (TaaS) is a pilot program designed to overcome transit barriers that many of our citizens face. TaaS is based on providing access to a ride whether you have a smartphone or bank account; accessibility should extend to all regardless of income, physical disability, or age.

TaaS will offer options to residents who register and qualify for rides. The service is intended to ensure a for-hire vehicle will be available when needed. So please sign up.

Register Online Now for Taas

A Message To Riders (August 2018)

Director Ernest Chrappah
Thank you for recognizing that DFHV is making the effort to be responsive to your feedback about Uber, Lyft, Via, limousine, and taxi services in the District of Columbia. As the summer comes to an end we ask you – members of the public – to share with us topics you will like to see in future correspondences with the for-hire ride industry. We appreciate your engagement with us through social media, Ask the Director, the telephone, and at community meetings. We are making progress in removing transit challenges so residents and visitors to the District are able to access a safe, affordable, and accessible ride of their choice.