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Press Releases - Department of Transportation

Montgomery County to Test Expanded E-Bikes, Add Dockless E-Scooters; Letters of Interest from Vendors Solicited

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 26, 2019

With dockless bikes already enjoyed in various areas of Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is seeking letters of interest from vendors to test the expansion of the program county-wide while also testing the introduction of dockless e-scooters. MCDOT will conduct a demonstration project with up to four selected companies to deploy dockless e-scooters and e-bikes at no cost to the County.  The demonstration project is expected to begin in March and run for six months with an option for extension.

MCDOT has built numerous safeguards into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure successful, safe and sustainable operation of dockless vehicle-sharing services within the County. These include performance measures like fleet size and condition, customer information and training on safe and appropriate operation of dockless vehicles including information about appropriate parking locations, response time to service requests, privacy protection, deployment density limits, removal of dockless vehicles in violation of the parking requirements, a publicly accessible application program interface and safety reports, among others.

Dockless companies interested in participating in the pilot should send a letter of interest, not to exceed three pages, to Gary Erenrich at gary.erenrich@montgomerycountymd.gov by March 11, 2019. The letter should indicate proposed deployment areas within the County’s approved pilot boundaries, the company’s customer service contact information, management plan and acknowledgement of and agreement with the terms of the County MOU.  Prospective vendors should submit any questions to Gary Erenrich by March 1; the questions and responses will be posted at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bikeshare on or about March 4.

Companies selected to participate will need to sign the County MOU and provide proof of insurance and a $10,000 performance bond.  Companies that deploy both dockless e-bikes as well as e-scooters will receive priority consideration.  Selected companies will be required to provide real-time operational data for County management and for program analysis.

Rather than relying on fixed stations to access the equipment, customers use a mobile app to locate a nearby dockless bike or e-scooter with GPS and unlock it.  When a customer completes a dockless bike or e-scooter trip, the bike or scooter must be parked within public right of way in accordance with the MOU except within jurisdictions that are not participating in the program.  Those jurisdictions will be geo-fenced and a customer will either be unable to complete the trip in those areas or may receive a penalty, as determined by the dockless company. 

Montgomery County’s agreement with dockless bike share and e-scooter companies is part of a demonstration project to test the concept county-wide. As the first suburban jurisdiction in the country with dockless bikeshare, Montgomery County already authorized dockless bikes in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and North Bethesda. The program serves the County’s goal of providing more transportation options that support a greener county.

General feedback about the pilot program or about a specific company participating in the pilot is welcome. Send an email to mcdot.commuterservices@montgomerycountymd.gov, or contact MC311 online or by calling 311 from within Montgomery County or 240-777-0311 from outside the County (Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.), or by following MC311 on Twitter @311MC311.

Release ID: 19-031
Media Contact: Maureen McNulty 240-777-7199

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