Mayor Levar M. Stoney on Wednesday announced the submission of draft legislation to City Council for its September 24th meeting establishing a regulatory framework for the operation and use of motorized dockless scooters and bikes in the city.
Prior to the announcement, the city played a cat-and-mouse game with Bird Scooters, a company which dropped its electric scooters around Richmond before Department of Public Works employees removed them and placed the units in storage, citing the need for an official policy allowing them.
“I support innovative transportation options for Richmonders – such as the previously established RVA Bike Share Program that helps residents ‘go the last mile,'” Stoney said in a news release. “Dockless scooters are a unique addition to Richmond’s transportation options. However, just as with any mode of transportation – whether car, bus, or bicycle – proper safety and operation guidelines are a must.”
A Motorized Dockless Scooter and Bicycle Share Pilot Program will be introduced to City Council on September 24th that, if approved, would allow dockless scooters to legally operate in the City of Richmond’s right-of-way as an extension of the public transportation system.
This permit program will:
- Require a non-refundable application fee of $1,500 for scooter companies and an annual permit fee, which will be based on the number of scooters;
- Require dockless scooter companies to provide customer service during all hours of scooter operation;
- Educate riders on legal parking requirements. Scooters must be parked standing upright and outside the path of travel on sidewalks. Upon notification, improperly parked scooters are required to be removed by the company in a timely manner; and,
- Establish necessary safety practices (e.g. promoting the use of a helmet) and features (such as front and rear lights).
After one year, the Department of Public Works will review and evaluate both the permit program and application process.
“Richmond will do this the right way,” Stoney continued. “We will implement a legal and appropriate dockless scooter and bicycle program with proper safety regulations to protect scooter users, pedestrians, and other citizens.”