Leesburg Prepares for Scooter, Bike, Skateboard Sharing Services

More transportation options could be coming to Leesburg. 

            Following a national trend that is seeing many urban localities offer bikes, scooters, even skateboards, rentals, the Town Council Tuesday night initiated a Town Code amendment that could allow the same offering to Leesburg residents and visitors.

            It’s a regular sight nowadays to see bikes and scooters gathered alongside city streets, with city dwellers and visitors using a cell phone app to pay to rent and unlock them for use. Recently, Charlottesville partnered with a California-based company to offer app-based electric scooters and bikes for rent, and it’s a phenomenon playing out in many Virginia localities.

            According to a town staff report, absent any action from the Town Council, these types of vehicles may be offered for hire within Leesburg without restriction beginning Jan. 1, thanks to action by the General Assembly in March. However, the legislation allows the Town Council to pass regulations for such vehicles prior to the Jan. 1 implementation date.

            The staff report notes that Virginia Beach is evaluating the use of franchise license agreements, while Charlottesville’s pilot program has a permitting process.

            Councilman Marty Martinez introduced the code initiation Tuesday night, and said he was tipped off on preparing for the new law during a recent Virginia Municipal League General Laws Committee meeting.

            “I want to make sure the town is prepared regulatorily for those businesses moving west,” he said.

            The code initiation passed unanimously. It will come back before the council for a public hearing and final vote.


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