The Howard County Office of Transportation oversees the permitting process for shared electric scooters. One vendor, SPIN, was granted a permit to operate up to 200 shared electric scooters in Howard County from March 23, 2022 to March 22, 2023. SPIN will launch operations on June 3, 2022 and intends to operate through Thanksgiving 2022. At the end of the pilot, adjustments to the permit requirements will be considered and advertising will begin for applications for 2023 permitting.
SPIN must comply with the TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE PERMIT TO OPERATE A PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE ELECTRIC SCOOTER SHARING SYSTEM ON PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY IN HOWARD COUNTY. These requirements set standards for safety, scooter relocation request time, riding rules, and much more to maximize safety and ensure sidewalks remain accessible for pedestrians.
SPIN is responsible for the maintenance and organization of its scooters within the permitted operating zone which includes Downtown Columbia, Oakland Mills, Wilde Lake, Harpers Choice and Hickory Ridge. The operating zone is geofenced, so SPIN scooters are not rideable outside of this zone. SPIN is providing marked parking corrals to help organize and centralize the parking and distribution of scooters. At launch, there are 13 corrals. SPIN will provide a credit towards the next ride for customers who end their scooter trip by parking in a corral.
A map of the operating zone and corrals can be viewed here.
SPIN is responsible for moving any scooters that have been parked inappropriately. The phone number to call for any operations issues is 1(888)249-9698. This number is also displayed on every scooter.
Scooters are considered the same as bicycles in terms of the laws in Maryland and Howard County with the same rules of the road, shared use pathways and sidewalks. SPIN will have rider education campaigns and host safety events and public demonstrations to educate both riders and non-riders. Riders also must review the rules of the road specific to where they are riding and pass a safety quiz before they can unlock a shared scooter for the first time. SPIN's safety information can be found here and information on SPIN's helmet discount can be found here
SPIN scooters are accessed through the SPIN app, available in the App Store and Google Play. To visit the SPIN website, click here
SPIN Access provides access to scooters for people without smartphones, mobile location services, or credit cards. Spin Access also provides discounted fares for those who qualify.
SPIN also provides 25% discount for scooter trips starting in these access zones.