Micro-Mobility Devices are pedal bikes, electric power-assisted bicycles (e-bikes), motorized scooters (e-scooters), and motorized skateboards, that provide another option to get around quickly and easily.
Some micro-mobility devices are owned by companies for customers to rent on-demand using a smartphone. Rental devices are dockless, which means they don’t have designated start and end locations or stations.
Arlington County encourages safe and considerate travel on scooters and bikes. Read on to learn how to share the road safely.
Several operators offer options for renting their devices at a lower price and without smart phones. Click on each brand to learn more about their programs.
Bird offers a Text-to-Ride feature to serve users who don't have smartphones and who are in a federal or state assistance program (like Medicaid or SNAP). Also, their One Bird program waives the $1 unlocking fee. People can enroll online or by emailing email@example.com.
Spin Access offers a 50% discount on all rides for anyone who in a local, state or federal benefits program. Users don't need a smartphone to unlock a Spin device with the Spin Access program. Visit Spin’s website for details.
Veo Access offers a discounted fare program to anyone who qualifies for recurring local, Virginia state, or federal assistance programs ( (SNAP) or WIC).The program includes unlimited waived unlock fees (usually $1), one free 30-minute ride per day, and discounted per minute pricing after that. Visit Veo’s website for details.
Lime Access offers a 50% discount on Lime rides ($0.50 unlocking fee, $0.07 a minute vs. $1 and $0.15), text-to-unlock options and cash payment options at PayNearMe locations throughout the country. Visit Lime’s website for details.
Equity Emphasis Areas are zones with high low-income populations, based on Census data. In Arlington, these are areas outside of transit corridors, with fewer transportation options. The County requires micro-mobility operators to place at least 13% of their devices within these areas. The goal of 13% is to roughly equal to the percentage of Arlington County’s residents who live in the eight Equity Emphasis Areas. With this plan, no Census tracts should receive more than 3% or less than 1% of an operator’s total permitted devices. The goal of the program is to establish equity by offering travel options throughout the County. After clicking this link download the map by clicking on the three dots to the right of “Arlington County Equity Emphasis Areas” header and select “Download KML."
People using scooters and e-bikes – whether their own or rented– should follow the same laws for riding bikes. This is to be safe and courteous to everyone sharing the road.
At the end of a trip, riders should park devices out of the way of people traveling. Keep sidewalks, driveways, building doorways, bus stops and roadways clear.
Be a PAL – Predictable, Alert, Lawful – when using e-scooters.
Follow these tips to ride safely:
- Obey posted traffic signs and signals.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Communicate your intentions by using hand signals.
- Keep your eyes on the road and avoid the use of anything that may distract you such as cell phones and headphones.
- Stay visible after dark and in bad weather with light-colored clothing, reflective gear and lights.
See more resources about bike and scooter safety:
Frequently Asked Questions about Safety
Where am I allowed to ride?
Riders may use streets, sidewalks or paved trails (not natural trails) unless signs forbid riding. When a protected bike lane is available in the direction of travel, e-scooter and e-bike riders must use it instead of the sidewalk. Signage prohibiting riding on sidewalks have been placed next to protected bicycle lanes.
When using a rental device, check the app to see where you are not allowed to end trips.
Do I have to wear a helmet when riding a scooter?
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires people 14 years of age or younger to wear a helmet on bikes, scooters, and skateboards. E-scooters are not currently included in the state’s helmet requirement. Arlington County encourages all riders of micro-mobility devices to wear a helmet.
Are there age restrictions for e-scooters?
There are no State-established age restrictions for scooter-riding. However, riders 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older. Rental operators have age restrictions in their user agreements. Companies may require riders to be 18 years of age or older.
There's a scooter blocking the way. What can I do about it?
If a rental device is parked dangerously and you are not able to move it, please call or email the device operator. Companies are required to remove the device within 2 hours of a report of mis-parking. The company name and contact information are usually found on the stem near the handlebars, in English and braille.
Otherwise, if you are able to move a scooter to a safe location for the next rider to take, please feel free to do so.
What are the speed limits of micro-mobility devices?
County Code allows e-scooters to travel up to 15 mph and e-bikes up to 20 mph in the street and on multi-use trails. On sidewalks, riders must stay below 6 mph and use the device's speedometer to watch their speed.
Arlington County is installing corrals as a safe place for people to start and end trips. Corral racks help keep parked scooters and bicycles upright and out of the way of people and cars.
Corrals have upside-down, U-shaped bike racks that provide two parking spaces per rack. Delineators, or posts, surround corrals to make them visible to others, and to protect the corrals from motor vehicles.
Corral installation is funded by the fees collected from rental micro-mobility operators. As of now there are 87 corrals, the project team is planning to install 100 corrals every fiscal year through 2024 based on availability of funds.
See the Corral Map
Choosing a Corral Location
The timeline from site selection to corral installation is about four months. The project team considers different physical factors when choosing where to install corrals.
- Areas of high ridership
- Areas with dense commercial and residential activity
- Places that are restricted to motor vehicles to help avoid removing parking spaces
Suggest New Corral Locations
The County would like your help in identifying where new corrals and bike racks should be installed in commercial areas. Send suggestions for additional corral locations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting Improperly Parked Devices
Requests to remove improperly parked devices can be submitted through Arlington County's 311 system here. Requests will be forwarded directly to the appropriate company representative. You will receive an update from the company representative once the request has been resolved.
Each year, vendors must apply to operate in Arlington County. Updated application forms are posted in the fall, and the permit period begins on January 1 of the next year. Vendors may apply after each fall’s application review. However, applicants may be awarded permits only if the fleet cap has not been reached for their desired vehicle mode - e-scooters or e-bikes. Arlington has a fleet cap of 2,000 e-scooters and 1,000 e-bikes.
Information about the 2024 permit application process will become available soon.
The County has allotted a total of 2,200 e-scooters across five operators, and a total of 1,000 e-bikes across three operators.
Using the Evaluation Scoresheet, County staff scored each application based on how each operator responded to the County’s Master Transportation Plan goals. They were also scored on their performance during the 2022 permit year. The operators’ permitted fleet sizes were based on their application scores.
2023 Program Requirements(PDF, 455KB)
Questions about the application should be sent to email@example.com
Vendors No Longer Operating in Arlington
As of January 1, 2023, the operators below do not have renewed contracts in Arlington County. If you find a bike or scooter belonging to one of these operators, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the location of the device.
The following questions and answers are intended to provide guidance for the public on the use of these devices in Arlington.
Are micro-mobility devices legal in Arlington? Can the County Board ban the devices outright?
Virginia law recognizes e-scooters, e-bikes and similar devices as vehicles. They are allowed to be ridden in the County.
The County cannot ban the devices outright, but the County can prohibit companies that offer these devices for hire from parking them on County right-of-way and property.
Can I ride rental devices from Arlington into neighboring municipalities or vice versa?
Possibly; this depends on where rental services have agreements. Check the company’s mobile app to determine where they offer service before you start your trip.
Is Capital Bikeshare part of the scooter program?
Capital Bikeshare is the region’s bikeshare system to help people get around quickly and easily. While some CaBi bikes are electrically powered and can be docked separately from a designated station, they don’t fall under the operator agreement requirement.
Are devices required to be parked in corrals?
Operators are encouraged to deploy devices in a corral if there is enough room. Riders are encouraged to end trips at corrals but are not required to do so. All riders must end trips and park safely and courteously.
The County Board approved a pilot program in fall 2018 to help manage e-scooter and e-bike operators and to determine how to best regulate these devices. The following report provides the results of the evaluation of the original nine-month Arlington County Shared Mobility Device Pilot Program.
On Nov. 16, 2019, the County Board adopted regulations for Micro-Mobility Devices that allow their use on sidewalks (with limitations), trails, and bike lanes, unless specifically signed or marked otherwise.
The County’s adopted ordinance went into effect on Dec. 31, 2019. More details are available in the Board Report and the specific ordinance language.
Operators share ridership rate data with the County to measure quantity of use.
Program data, including trip data matched to the roadway network defined by Open Street Map, number of trips, trip duration and distance and more, is available here.