(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Starting today, locals can zip around the county on new e-scooters outfitted with seats.
Riders in Arlington will be some of the first to experience transportation company Superpedestrian‘s seated scooters, which look like standing scooters with adjustable bicycle seat — as opposed to the mopeds folks may see around D.C.
“Arlington will be the second U.S. market to receive the Superpedestrian seated scooters, giving a more diverse range of riders a safe, comfortable way to make last-mile trips,” the company said in a statement. The seated scooters made their debut in Baltimore, we’re told.
Today (Wednesday), Superpedestrian officially rolled out its shared scooter service, dubbed LINK, in Arlington, introducing 333 bright-yellow and silver standing scooters and 50 seated ones, according to a spokesperson.
LINK also operates in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County, as Superpedestrian is targeting areas hit by Metro disruptions. These arose after an investigation into a derailment on the Blue Line revealed a wheel defect in the 7000 Series railcars, leading Metro’s oversight agency to have them pulled.
“We’re interested in truly serving this community, by bringing our seated scooter that can allow more riders to use on-demand shared mobility, and by supporting the region through continued Metro disruptions,” said Superpedestrian Policy Manager Cheyanne Woodyard in a statement.
The company says its scooters are safer than competitors’ because they’re the “first and only” ones with on-board artificial intelligence that autonomously performs vehicle safety checks.
It’s also working on technology to improve pedestrian safety, too. Eventually, the scooters will be able to identify and correct unsafe scooting — such as riding on sidewalks — which Arlington has tried to address with signage marking where e-scooters aren’t allowed.
Riders will be charged $1 to unlock a scooter, plus $0.39 a minute. Users scan a QR code on the scooter using the LINK mobile app to begin renting and riding the device.
The news comes five days after Arlington allowed competitor Bird to operate more e-scooters and bikes in the county.
LINK scored second of the five providers allowed to operate in Arlington — which include Spin, Lime and Helbiz — based on a list of county transportation goals, including to promote safety, sustainability and equity.
There is a cap of 2,000 e-scooters and 1,000 e-bikes in the county.
(This story has been updated with the revised size of LINK’s fleet and to correct LINK’s score on the county rankings.)
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