San Francisco-based mobility company Skip will bring its shared electric scooters back to the District “in the coming weeks,” the company and D.C. officials said Friday. The return of the dockless vehicles comes after the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) suspended Skip’s permit to operate in the city following several incidents of its scooters catching fire in D.C. and San Francisco. Skip says it is implementing additional safety measures henceforth.
“We didn’t just let our cities and riders down, we let ourselves down,” the company said in a statement, noting that “at-risk batteries [from] a few scooters” were improperly disposed of at its District warehouse. Skip added that it has consulted with battery and consumer safety experts over the summer to conduct an audit of its procedures and implement new ones for dealing with damaged equipment. They include real-time monitoring of scooter conditions, mandatory safety training for warehouse employees, and “comprehensive reporting” to D.C.
In a statement, DDOT director Jeff Marootian confirmed that it has approved the company to return. “Skip has submitted documentation demonstrating the clear steps they have taken to ensure that best battery safety practices are followed by all staff and facilities,” Marootian said. “After reviewing the revised procedures and finding there will be increased oversight to operation practices, DDOT believes that Skip will be able to operate safely in public space.”
Currently, about 5,000 shared electric scooters and electric bikes are permitted in the city. The devices are deployed by seven companies: Bird, Bolt, Jump, Lime, Lyft, Skip, and Spin.