Bikeshare, Scooters, Cars, Trains, Bridges: One Agency to Rule Them All (11-30-18)

A bus at San Francisco’s new bus terminal, opened this year. In San Francisco one agency controls nearly every form of transport within city boundaries. Lorin Eleni Gill/AP

The current management of transportation in American cities is, to put it mildly, balkanized. Powers to regulate, tax, and allocate budgets for modes like transit, automobiles, and taxis are divided across numerous transit authorities, state agencies, and city departments. The predictable result: organizational friction and confusion about who is ultimately responsible for achieving policy goals such as equity, safety, and the reduction of pollution and congestion.

This situation is not sustainable, especially in an era when new mobility services like ride-hail and scooters have made the pursuit of regional mobility goals more challenging—and more important—than ever before. It’s time to consider a dramatic step: consolidation of all mobility oversight into a single regional authority.

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More Scooter Companies Aim To Break Into The D.C. Market (11-29-18)

The District Department of Transportation is reviewing applications from 12 start-ups looking to operate shared scooters and bicycles in the nation’s capital next year. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

A dozen transportation start-ups are vying for permits to operate shared scooters and bicycles in the nation’s capital next year. If all are approved, the number of companies operating personal mobility services in the District would double, and the devices available for rent could reach 10,000 by spring.

The District Department of Transportation is reviewing applications from 12 companies, including six already operating in the city under an extended pilot program ending this year. Those companies want to be part of an expanded, permanent program that will allow them to enlarge their fleets — though they will be subject to additional fees and regulations.

“We are pleased by the growing interest from companies seeking to expand or launch operations in the District and excited about the potential of these new transportation options for residents and visitors,” said DDOT spokesman Terry Owens.

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Scooter And Bike Companies Say D.C.’s New Rules For Dockless Vehicles Are Too Restrictive (11-17-18)

Mobility companies that deploy scooters and dockless bikes in the District are pushing back against new regulations for the vehicles that city transportation officials declared last week.

Half of the companies say the rules, which are poised to come into effect in January, overly restrict growth for their D.C. fleets. Another half say they have concerns about the 10 mph speed limit for electric scooters in the regulations. Currently, six companies operate either scooters or dockless bikes in D.C.: Bird, Lyft, Lime, Spin, Skip, and Jump, an arm of Uber.

Operators could maintain up to 600 dockless vehicles each on city streets as a starting point next year. With regulators’ approval, they could also expand their fleets by 25 percent every three months. As of now, 400 vehicles per operator (whether scooters or bikes, or both) are permitted, under a pilot program that the District has been running since September 2017.

But in a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser dated Nov. 11, California-based scooter-share operator Bird said the proposed cap on dockless vehicles “eliminates any chance of this program being equitable, of solving issues related to transportation deserts in the city, and ultimately of getting more cars off the road.” Bird also asked Bowser to “consider intervening in” the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) implementation of the policies to ensure “fair and practical conditions” for scooters based on “convenience and accessibility.”

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24/7 Uber and Lyft pickup zones coming to D.C. (10-26-18)

The District is launching new pickup and drop-off zones for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

The District is designating curbside space for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft at locations across the city — an effort to reduce the number of vehicles that stop to pick up and drop off passengers in bike lanes, crosswalks and travel lanes.

The District Department of Transportation is adding the pickup and drop-off zones at five entertainment hot spots where visitors are dependent on the services to get around. Those sites are the nightlife hub of 14th and U streets, the National Zoo and Georgetown in Northwest, the Wharf waterfront development in Southwest and Union Market in Northeast.

The 24-hour-a-day zones will also be used for commercial loading, officials said. They are expected to go live later this year, following a public comment period and the installation of signs.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)