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Richmond’s Bike Share program set to expand

RICHMOND, Va. — As regulations to legalize dockless electric scooters and bicycles in Richmond make their way through City Hall, questions remain as to the effectiveness and fate of the city’s own bike share program – particularly in light of other cities across the country scrapping similar programs in favor of the new arrivals.

The latest version of a proposal to amend city code to allow electric scooter and bike startups such as Lime, Bird and Uber Jump to operate locally was scheduled to go before City Council on Monday night but was continued to Jan. 28, reinitiating a process that could see the dockless vehicles permitted and on city streets and sidewalks come spring.

By then, Richmond also could see the rollout of a delayed expansion of its docked bike share program, RVA Bike Share, which has met with mixed reviews since launching 18 months ago.

Mayor Levar Stoney, who is driving the code amendments, said a planned second phase that was anticipated last year is slated to roll out “in coming weeks,” doubling the program’s initial wave with an additional 220 bikes and 20 dock stations – expanding the system’s footprint and improving availability of bikes, access to which has been among the program’s recurring criticisms.

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