What’s WABA’s position on dockless bikeshare?

Dockless bikeshare has the potential to expand bike sharing and bike ridership in the District and local neighboring jurisdictions.  With opportunity comes risk, however, and that is why we have been involved in conversations for the past months with a task force convened by DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST) that included District Department of Transportation (DDOT), several DC Business Improvement Districts, and DC Council staff to discuss priorities for ensuring that this new technology is a positive addition to the menu of transportation options in the DC region. Among our top concerns are:
  1. Safety and maintenance of the bikes – how well are the bikes built and do they receive routine maintenance? How easy is it to report issues and how quickly are they addressed?
  2. Parking  – how well are companies educating users about good/bad parking behavior? How quickly do companies relocate bicycles that have been problematically parked? Are companies helping advocate for better bike parking options to improve conditions for all bicyclists, particularly in areas downtown where bike parking demand exceeds supply?
  3. Troubleshooting –  How easy is it for non-bikeshare users to report problems? How quickly are reports of an issue rectified? Do companies have procedures in place to proactively address issues without the need to have someone report them? Are they making the complaints/response times available to the public?
  4. Data-sharing –  the data generated by bike share users is important for transportation planning and decision-making. Companies should make this data available to the public.
  5. Equity –  WABA is invested in ensuring the benefits of dockless bikeshare accrue to all, whether that is by committing to a minimum level of coverage in lower-density, lower income neighborhoods, or creating a requirement that companies participate in an en-lieu fee system so that the government can provide bike share services in underserved areas.
To see the full set of recommendations by DCST, click here. UPDATE (3.26.18) Read the DCST letter to DDOT about the future of bikeshare here: Dockless bikeshare statement What are your thoughts on the dockless bikeshare pilot so far? Send them to advocacy@test.waba.org You can also contact each Dockless bikeshare company directly:
Send policy suggestions to DDOT at: dockless.bikeshare@dc.gov