Ride-hailing company Lyft is joining D.C.’s ongoing pilot program for dockless vehicles by providing electric scooters. On Thursday, Lyft announced that the District is the first East Coast city where it will operate the scooters, which the San Francisco-based company has already introduced in Denver and Santa Monica. A handful of operators, including Bird, Skip, Lime, Spin, and Uber-owned Jump, are participating in D.C.’s pilot, began in 2017.
Lyft will be “adding scooters gradually, monitoring the market needs and ensuring that they scale safely,” says Chris Dattaro, Lyft’s market manager for bikes and scooters. The company aims to eventually offer 400 scooters in the District, the current per-operator limit under the pilot program. The District Department of Transportation extended the pilot in September through 2018 and is now working on long-term regulations for dockless bikes and scooters.
Lyft notes that more than a third of its passengers in D.C. say “owning a personal vehicle is less important to them now,” per the results of a national survey that the company recently conducted. D.C. has said it plans to have long-term rules for dockless vehicles in place by 2019. The rules will cover operator fees, the per-company cap, data-sharing, and parking.