Alexandria, VA

Electric scooter companies have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and the city says the transportation option “can be an alternate mode of travel while distancing.”

The city said it is also working with e-scooter companies on their disinfecting practices.

“Spin, Bird, and Razor devices are available to the community to access essentials (grocery stores, medicine, etc.), and Lime has paused its service in the City,” according to the city’s dockless mobility program page. “Shared mobility can be an alternative mode of travel while social distancing. To reduce risk to users and the community, the City is coordinating with each company on their disinfecting practices.”

The city also recommends that riders wash their hands before and after trips, or wear gloves, in addition to disinfecting the handlebars and other points of contact.

For months, Spin scooters were barely in Alexandria and their competition was even more scarce to be found. Permits in the city were issued to LimeBirdRazorSpin, and Helbiz. Lime reportedly laid off 13% of its employees around the world, Bird laid off a third of its workforce and Uber and Lyft have laid off hundreds of employees, according to the Washington Post.

Matt Harris, the president of the Colecroft Community Homeowners Association, which is made up of 135 homes near the Braddock Road Metro Station, has been against the scooters in the city since day one, but now thinks they can actually be useful.

“I actually see a place for scooters in our COVID environment, as people remain reluctant to take mass transit,” Harris told ALXnow. “Maybe it will be seem more widely as a true transportation option and less as a form of recreation.”

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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