Montgomery County launched a dockless e-bike program Wednesday expected to bring additional travel options to local residents. The county’s current e-scooter pilot program will also expand service to Gaithersburg, and add a fleet of new vehicles from Spin.
The announcement comes as counties nationwide look to expand safe and socially distanced travel options for residents amid COVID-19.
The new @bikeshare ebikes are just $1 to unlock and feature QR codes on the rear fender for seamless unlocking.
— mococommuter (@mococommuter) July 9, 2020
“Capital Bikeshare and app-based e-scooters have provided important support for residents and employees during recent months as evidenced by high utilization and longer distance trips,” MCDOT Director Chris Conklin said in a statement. “As Montgomery County moves into additional phases of reopening, e-bikes and e-scooters offer choices for individuals who need flexible, inexpensive transportation for short trips or quick connections to and from transit.”
The e-bikes, offered through Capital Bikeshare, will appear with a lighting bolt icon on the vendor’s app. Through August, the company is expected to add a total of 900 bikes to the Capital Bikeshare region, and will determine distribution based on ridership patterns.
All vehicles will be available at docking stations, public bike racks or locked to appropriate infrastructure. Users will be charged a $2 fee for unlocking the vehicle and can park at any bike rack within the service area for an addition $1 fee. Capital Bikeshare will also charge $25 if a vehicle is left in an unapproved location.
Have you heard the news? We'll be rolling out electric bikes tomorrow! https://t.co/Kp0Qx5cO4G
— Capital Bikeshare (@bikeshare) July 7, 2020
Spin joins three additional e-scooter companies, including Bird, Lime and Lyft, who are participating in the county’s dockless vehicle pilot program launched in 2019. Some approved dockless pilot areas include Kensington, Wheaton and Rockville.
All vendors are expected to follow enhanced COVID-19 cleaning protocols from the CDC, WHO and other agencies. Riders are also encouraged to use hand sanitizer and disinfect handlebars after use.