Howard County Electric Scooters Sharing System Launched June 3
With a pilot program that will include up to 200 shared scooters and parking corrals, e-scooters have arrived in Downtown Columbia.
E-scooters are designed to reduce road congestion and cut fossil fuel emissions from automobiles. The electric scooters require a fraction of the energy of combustion engines and take up less parking space. Like bicycles, they are driven on roads and trails and generally follow the same safety rules. While relatively new in the United States, in some communities shared scooters have already proven to be an affordable and valuable first and last mile mode of transportation, providing connectivity to transit, business, employment and recreation.
And they are a lot of fun to ride!
The system is operated by SPIN, an electric mobility company, through a permit provided by Howard County Office of Transportation and partnership with Downtown Columbia Partnership, Brookfield Properties (owner of The Mall in Columbia), Columbia Association, and The Howard Hughes Corporation.
SPIN scooters are accessed through the SPIN app, available in the App Store and Google Play. To visit the SPIN website, click here.
â€œThe Downtown Columbia Partnership encourages residents to try the electric scooters,â€ said Executive Director Phillip Dodge. â€œE-scooters can reduce harmful emissions to our environment and increase access to affordable transit for those moving around our community to get to work, to appointments and for other short trips,â€ he added.
â€œWe are grateful for the support of our partners in initiating this new program to proactively address lifestyle changes, provide transportation options and improve our environment,â€ said Howard County Office of Transportation Administrator Bruce Gartner. â€œThe e-scooters pilot will also allow us to gather data to help us improve micromobility in Howard County,â€ he added.
â€œAccessibility and connectivity matter. Columbia Association looks forward to working with our partners to build on our multimodal transportation options, ones that serve a growing number and greater diversity of people across the Columbia area,â€ Columbia Association President/CEO Lakey Boyd said. â€œWe are pleased to see our pathways being utilized in this new, exciting way, and we look forward to seeing how the pilot program is received by the community.â€
The pilot program will test whether shared e-scooters provide efficient and inexpensive transportation for lower income individuals who do not own automobiles and for those in high density areas where a live-work-play lifestyle is being cultivated, such as the Merriweather District in Downtown Columbia.
â€œThe Howard Hughes Corp. supports efforts to enhance the convenience of living in Downtown Columbia and of increasing access to and from this center of culture and commerce,â€ said Greg Fitchitt, President, Columbia, Howard Hughes. â€œE-scooters have been popular elsewhere, and I hope they will be popular here,â€ he added.
Click here to see a map an interactive map of where scooters can be picked up and dropped off, on property of The Howard Hughes Corporation in Downtown Columbia, Columbia Association property in the Village of Wilde Lake and county right-of-way in the Oakland Mills Village Center, as well as other major destinations throughout the community.
To download the SPIN app and get moving, click here.