Loudoun County launched the Shared Mobility Device (SMD) Pilot Program on January 1, 2020, to provide a framework for the operation and use of dockless SMDs for hire within the county and to evaluate their impact. SMDs include motorized skateboards and scooters (e-scooters), electric-assist bikes (e-bikes) and pedal bicycles.
The Board of Supervisors approved the SMD Pilot Program on December 3, 2019, following legislation recently passed by the Virginia General Assembly allowing SMD operators to conduct business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Under the legislation, Loudoun County may establish further guidelines and restrictions for SMD use within the county. In addition to establishing SMD regulation, the pilot program furthers Loudoun County’s 2019 Countywide Transportation Plan objectives to provide comprehensive access and mobility, and better quality of life for residents, workers and visitors to the county.
The pilot program limits the number of SMDs for hire within the county to a maximum of 1,000 devices and restricts their operation to within the designated SMD Pilot Program service area, located within approximately three miles of the Ashburn, Loudoun Gateway and Dulles International Airport Silver Line Metro-rail stations. “The county is committed to providing transportation choices that connect people to their communities, employment centers, educational institutions, activity centers and other amenities,” said Joe Kroboth, director of the Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure (DTCI), which is overseeing the county’s pilot program. “This program is designed to test how SMDs as a mobility option can support this goal and to evaluate the impact of this technology on the county.”
The pilot program will continue at least six months following the opening of Silver Line Metrorail stations in Loudoun County, which is expected in mid-2020.
The county is currently seeking SMD operators to provide shared mobility devices for hire during the pilot program. Interested operators are required to sign an agreement with the county and obtain a permit for their fleets, including paying a one-time fee for each device type. Permit applications will be accepted until the 1,000 device limit has been reached.
During the program, DTCI will monitor SMD operations and operator performance. In addition, the department will engage the public to gather important input from residents that will help develop regulatory recommendations for the Board of Supervisors to consider.
Members of the public will be able to rent the devices once the first authorized SMD operator successfully completes the permit application process. Authorized operators and their contact information will be listed on the Loudoun County website.
To learn more about the pilot program, including the operator permit application process, and to view a map of the Shared Mobility Device Service Area in Loudoun County, visit loudoun.gov/SharedMobilityDevices.
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