The Baltimore City Department of Transportation Awards Permits for the 2021-2022 Dockless Vehicle Operators
Thursday Jun 24th, 2021
Today, Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) Director Steve Sharkey announced that the city has awarded its newest round of Dockless Vehicle Permits. After an 11-month extension during the COVID-19 state of emergency, these are the first new permits to be issued since August 2019. The new dockless permits have been awarded to three companies: Lime, Spin and Link.
“This newest round of Dockless Vehicle Permits is a major next step in achieving our sustainability goals and empowering Baltimoreans to use multimodal transportation methods,” said Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Shorter. “We are excited to welcome Lime, Spin, and Link to Baltimore and continue the City’s effort to integrate dockless vehicles into our transportation network.”
The city’s dockless program was launched in the summer of 2018 as a pilot initiative and has become an integral part of Baltimore’s transportation infrastructure. With a dockless vehicle sharing program, electric scooters and bicycles can be conveniently rented for use throughout the city as a fun and sustainable way to travel. Dockless scooters and bikes are equipped with GPS technology so they can be easily located, rented, and parked through a smart-phone app or text-to-unlock plan. The BCDOT has launched a parking “corral” program by painting parking spots for dockless vehicles across the city where riders receive discounts for courteous parking. In Baltimore City, an average of 100,000 trips are taken with dockless vehicles each month.
The new dockless permits were issued following the lifting of Governor Hogan’s Executive Order which extended existing permits. BCDOT conducted a public comment period regarding proposed changes to its dockless Rules & Regulations from April 1- May 5, 2021 and then opened a competitive application period. Applications were scored with representatives from BCDOT, the Baltimore City Law Department and the Department of Planning. The committee used a strict rubric to score applications based on the needs of Baltimore City for a safe, equitable, and successful program.
The three companies selected submitted the top scoring applications and each provide unique services:
- Lime will continue to serve Baltimore City with their e-scooters and an expanded fleet of e-bikes. Lime vehicles are branded in green, white, and red. Vehicles can be rented through the Uber platform as well as Lime.
- Link will be new to launch in Baltimore City with their proprietary e-scooter model. Their vehicles are branded with fluorescent yellow.
- Spin will continue to serve Baltimore City with their e-scooters and an adaptive seated e-scooter. Spin vehicles are branded in dark orange.
“The BCDOT continues its mission of encouraging Baltimore City residents to consider alternative and sustainable forms of transportation besides single-occupancy vehicles,” said Director Steve Sharkey. "By continuing our dockless program, we echo many of Mayor Scott's priorities to build a more inclusive, safe, and accessible transportation system."
Under the new operating permit, companies will abide by the revised Rules and Regulations developed by the Department of Transportation and its partners. These regulations affect fleet size, parking requirements, equity zones and distribution, rider education, equity of access, safety and vehicle standards, and data reporting formats. The awarded permits become active on July 1, 2021 and will expire in a year, with the possibility of a one-year extension.
The permit rules, public comment report, and additional information can be viewed at: https://transportation.baltimorecity.gov/bike-baltimore/dockless-vehicles.