D.C. Plans More Regulations for Micromobility Operators

Operators are pushing back against new proposed rules that some say could 'kneecap' the District's micromobility industry.

September 16, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Electric Scooter Share

Joaquin Corbalan P / Shutterstock

As the District of Columbia's Department of Transportation plans to cap the number of scooter and bike share operators in the District and implement a series of new regulations, Kea Wilson reports that some advocates wonder "why micromobility providers are again being held to higher standards than are drivers, automakers, and car-related businesses." In an open letter to DDOT, the District's current micromobility operators argue that the new rules could push them out of the market just as demand for their services surges. 

Under the new process, companies would be assessed on a 198-point rubric that gauges the companies’ commitment to safety, equitable access, and fair labor practices, among a list of other sky-high standards that some argue would more logically apply to car-based enterprises. 

App-taxi operators such as Uber do not have to pass such extensive tests in order to operate on Washington roads and can deploy as many drivers as they wish, despite such companies’ record of contributing to congestion, harmful emissions, and more. Private vehicle owners can also register as many vehicles as they like throughout the U.S. provided they meet safety and emissions requirements.

The operators "already comply with a raft of city policies, including fleets caps of 820 to 2,500 vehicles," and want DDOT "to extend the current micromobility permits for an additional year." 

Thursday, September 9, 2021 in Streetsblog USA

Stylized rendering of the Midwest Regional Rail Network

Federal Railroad Administration Proposes New Midwest Rail Network

If built, regional high-speed rail networks could provide an alternative to uncomfortable air travel and prevent travelers from becoming stranded at airports during extreme weather.

January 17, 2022 - The Urbanist

Tysons Corner

Rethinking Retail Space in the Wake of COVID-19

As e-commerce boomed and people sought outdoor shopping and dining options, the pandemic accelerated the decline of massive, merchandise-oriented retail spaces and indoor malls.

January 12, 2022 - Bisnow


'15-Minute City' To Be Built in Utah

A community that focuses on reducing the need for car ownership and providing effective multimodal transportation and diverse land uses will be built from scratch on the site of the decommissioned Utah State Prison.

January 19, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

Denver Union STation TOD

Local Resistance Hinders Transit-Oriented Development

As states move to boost housing production near transit, opposition from neighborhood groups frustrates efforts to build new developments.

28 minutes ago - Route 50

Buildings on Wall Street, New York City

Office Landlords Luring Tenants Back With Incentives

Landlords are offering generous incentives in an effort to prop up the struggling U.S. office market.

1 hour ago - The Real Deal

Pacific Coast

Opinion: California Should Invest In Housing, Not Dubious Desalination Projects

A controversial desalination plant in Orange County could receive massive state subsidies, but advocates argue the money would be better spent on affordable housing projects to relieve the state's housing crisis.

January 23 - Capitol Weekly

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.