This October, the County Board approved a nine-month pilot project for Shared Mobility Devices (SMDs). The SMDs include shared bicycles and shared electric-assist scooters (e-scooters). The pilot will test a framework for use of SMDs in Arlington and to evaluate the impact of the SMDs in our community. There are opportunities for the community to submit comments on the program (see below), and general information on the Arlington County SMD pilot is available online.
While shared bicycles have been around for a while, the shared e-scooters present new safety issues for the general community and for Arlington Public Schools (APS) in particular. To ensure that our students, staff and families understand the SMD user expectations and County regulations, we have prepared the following list of FAQs that answer the most relevant questions, and we encourage families to review the County webpage with your student and for everyone to become familiar with all the guidance.
Who may legally ride e-scooters?
- E-scooter operators (Bird and Lime) require users to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license.
Are e-scooter and SMD users required to wear helmets?
- Yes, users of e-scooters and other SMDs are required by the operators to wear bicycle helmets.
Are e-scooters and SMDs permitted on APS property?
- As with bikes, e-scooters and other SMDs are permitted on school property but may not be ridden on school property. This means that users must dismount and walk their SMD once they arrive at school. (Note: Arlington County also does not allow the use of e-scooters on sidewalks.)
- SMDs also are not permitted in school buildings or any APS facilities (stadiums, athletic fields, playgrounds, etc.)
Where should I park e-scooters and SMDs at APS schools?
- E-scooters and other SMDs should be parked next to school bike racks and away from travel lanes, driveways, fire hydrants, walkways, wheelchair ramps, and school entrances.
What traffic laws apply to e-scooters and other SMDs?
- E-scooters are not permitted on sidewalks because they are motorized. They may be used in vehicular travel and bike lanes.
- All SMDs must abide by the same laws as motor vehicles in terms of obeying posted traffic regulations, signs, and signals.
- The County’s pilot requires that speeds be limited to 10 mph for e-scooters/15 mph for e-bikes.
Arlington County invites the community to provide feedback on these new mobility options, including ideas and opinions on the direction the County should take with future regulations.
Email comments or questions about the Arlington County pilot to firstname.lastname@example.org. The contact information for approved County SMD operators is: