Washington launched an online dashboard that allows the public to view real-time information about where and when shared electric scooters and e-bikes are being used in the city, aiming to help residents and visitors navigate the rising demand for shared mobility, according to a city press release Friday.
The district partnered with Ride Report, a technology company specializing in shared micromobility management, to operate the dashboard, which includes information about total trips and active and average vehicle use.
The city also announced that shared micromobility operator VeoRide is now allowed to operate a fleet of shared electric scooters and bikes, marking the first time the city has issued a permit to a new company since 2019.
Helbiz and Bird, which previously operated shared micromobility fleets in the city, did not have their permits renewed.
“We are thrilled to see how popular this program is in the District,” said District Department of Transportation Director Everett Lott in a statement. Veo “will now help meet the ever-increasing demand for more devices and greater accessibility, something residents can now follow online, in real-time.”
According to DDOT, residents and visitors of the district have taken more than 11 million trips and traveled over 15 million miles on shared e-bikes and e-scooters since the city’s shared micromobility program launched in 2018.
Helbiz announced earlier this month that it would discontinue “operations in non-profitable or cash-positive markets by spring 2023,” citing regulatory concerns, high levels of competition and an oversupply of vehicles. Last year, competitor Bird said it left several international and U.S. markets for similar reasons. Helbiz halted its shared e-scooter service in the district last month.
Micromobility service companies experienced a rocky recovery in 2022, curbing operations and laying off workers in the face of economic headwinds, despite growing ridership after pandemic-related declines. Researchers and transportation professionals say that micromobility will continue to face financial concerns in 2023, but improved accessibility and local investments in micromobility infrastructure may support its long-term growth.