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Dockless company shifts to ‘all e-scooter fleet’ as D.C. pilot program wraps up

Spin announced the change late last week

A Spin scooter and a Bird scooter
Getty Images

San Francisco-based mobility company Spin will provide only e-scooters and not dockless bikes in the District from now on, the company wrote in a message to customers on Friday.

“We’re transitioning to an all e-scooter fleet in DC,” Spin said, according to screenshots of their email posted on Twitter. The company did not immediately respond to Curbed DC’s request for comment, but the email said those who had purchased an annual or monthly membership pass “will be automatically refunded for the remaining time left on your pass.”

The change comes as the District expects to conclude a pilot program for dockless bikes and scooters at the end of August. The program, which began last September, features a cap of 400 vehicles per company, regardless of whether the vehicles are bikes or scooters.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is running the pilot and permitted seven companies to participate. But in July, two of them—Ofo and Mobike, both based in China—announced that they were suspending their operations in D.C. to focus on other locations.

With Spin’s shift to scooters, only one company in the pilot, Uber-owned Jump, is currently providing a fleet made predominately of dockless bikes. The three others—Lime, Skip, and Bird—have majority- or entirely scooter fleets. Jump bikes are partly powered by electricity.

Last week, Spin said it was leaving Seattle, where e-scooters are banned and the company offered bikes. Cities around the U.S. are still figuring out how to regulate dockless vehicles.

DDOT says it will incorporate feedback from residents and data from the companies into longer-term rules for shared bikes and scooters. But the agency has remained largely mum about what those rules might be. “We expect to have a way forward, beyond that [pilot], available to the public very soon,” DDOT head Jeff Marootian told WTOP earlier this month.

Some advocacy groups have called for the District to allow up to 20,000 dockless vehicles.