College Park City Council approved a semi-dockless e-scooter and bikeshare program in July. But “motorized” vehicles are illegal on the county’s trail network, which forms a vital link in College Park’s bicycle, pedestrian and now nascent “micro-mobility” network. And County Council wont be back in session to consider the matter until weeks after College Parks new bike and scooter share is set to take its first ride.
College Park plans to launch its new VeoRide bike and scooter-sharing service in late August. It will replace the city’s former Zagster pedal-bike share system. Over the past week, as the city’s contract with Zagster expired, the company’s familiar bikeshare stations and signature townie bikes have begun to disappear.
Scott Somers, College Park’s City Manager, said Tuesday College Park still plans to launch its new bikeshare system with scooters and electric-assist bikes on day one, despite the fact such conveyances – by means of their nefarious electric motors – remain illegal on the county trail network. Still, Somers said he favors a Montgomery County-style pilot program to be in place if an official e-scooter service is up and running in the county.
For what it’s worth: e-scooters and electric-assist bicycles are already a common sight on the county’s trail system. As a class of trail rider, in my anecdotal, daily-cycling experience, they have not been a nuisance. If you can catch up to them, e-bikes are great, guilt-free excuse to draft in a fellow riders’ aerodynamic wake.