The Howard County Office of Transportation oversees the permitting process for shared electric scooters. The first permit was granted for the period from March 23, 2022 to March 22, 2023. Spin was awarded the permit and operated a six-month pilot program from June 3 to November 20, 2022. For more information on the permitting process in Howard County, see this webpage: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/transportation/shared-e-scooter-permitting
The Office of Transportation created a report containing the details of the 2022 scooter pilot with SPIN as the permitted vendor, including data from the program, feedback from riders, stakeholders and the general public, as well as recommendations for scooter permitting moving forward. Click here to view the report.
No vendors applied for a permit to operate shared electric scooters in Howard County in 2023.
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.