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Shared Electric Scooter Permitting in Howard County

The Howard County Office of Transportation manages a process for permitting of shared electric scooter vendors to operate in the public right of way, similar to Baltimore City, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia.

  • Vendors can apply for a permit on an annual basis.
  • The enabling legislation for this permit process is CB 3-2020 and CR 78-2020.
  • The Terms and Conditions for the permit can be viewed by clicking on TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
  • Shared electric scooter vendors who applied for a permit to operate in Howard County had to complete the requirements included in the PERMIT APPLICATION FORM.

Permitting Schedule - Note: Permit schedule will be updated for calendar year 2022. More information will be coming soon.

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permit timeline

What are electric scooters?

The Maryland State Code section 11–117.2a states:

“Electric low speed scooter” means a vehicle that

(1) Is designed to transport only the operator;

(2) Weighs less than 100 pounds;

(3) Has single wheels in tandem or a combination of one or two wheels at the front and rear of the vehicle;

(4) Is equipped with handlebars and a platform designed to be stood on while riding;

(5) Is solely powered by an electric motor and human power; and

(6) Is capable of operating at a speed of up to 20 miles per hour.

What are the laws for riding electric scooters?

Maryland State Code section 11-104 includes electric low speed scooter in the definition of bicycles, asserting that all the same rules and regulations that apply to bicycles also apply to electric low speed scooters. In Howard County, this means:

  • Electric low speed scooters are legal on public sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes and streets  (except expressways and streets with posted speed limits above 50mph) except where otherwise posted as prohibited.
  • When operated on streets, riders of electric low speed scooters are subject to the same traffic control as drivers of motor vehicles.
  • Riders of electric low speed scooters must wear a helmet if they are less than 16 years old.

Contacts

Howard County Office of Transportation:

  • Bruce Gartner, Administrator, 410-313-0702
  • Chris Eatough, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, 410-313-0567

Scooter sharing vendors that are approved for operation in Howard County through the permit process will be listed with their contact information here after selection.

Data and reporting 

Reports on e-scooter operations will be posted here once they become available.

 

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