E-scooter Frequently Asked Questions

When are the regulations being implemented? 

DOTS implemented the new e-scooter regulations on Monday, February 3, 2020.

What are the regulations?

View the e-scooter regulations page for all of the details, but they can be summarized as follows: 

  • E-scooters must be parked in designated electric scooter parking areas. They may not be inside campus buildings. Improperly parked e-scooters are subject to relocation or impoundment, and a fine. Transportation Services will enforce e-scooter parking regulations.
  • E-scooters must be operated on the road and follow all traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic signals, riding in the direction of traffic, and  yielding to other vehicles and pedestrians. The University of Maryland Police Department will enforce e-scooter traffic violations in accordance with the Maryland Transportation Articles.
  • E-scooter operators should ride safely. Always wear a helmet. Stay alert—no acrobatics or texting and driving. Never ride with a passenger or while impaired. 

Who is enforcing the regulations? 

The UMD Police Department is responsible for enforcing e-scooter moving violations. Transportation Services will enforce e-scooter parking. 

Why are you implementing these regulations? 

With the influx of e-scooters on campus, we observed that more parameters around safe and proper e-scooter parking and operation were needed. The regulations will improve the safety of all those who traverse our campus. They prevent parked e-scooters from impeding the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and from blocking building access and ADA access. They also promote safe riding practices by enforcing how and where e-scooters should be operated on our campus.

Which e-scooters do these regulations apply to?

E-scooter parking and riding regulations apply to all e-scooters on campus, including but not limited to, VeoRide e-scooters, personally owned e-scooters and Bird monthly rental e-scooters.

Who created the regulations? 

A working group including individuals from Transportation Services, University of Maryland Police Department, Office of General Counsel, Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk, and leadership from the Division of Administration and Finance created the new e-scooter regulations after reviewing best practices in e-scooter management at other universities and carefully considering the unique needs of our communities.

How is DOTS informing the community about the new regulations and encouraging safe riding habits?

DOTS will work with campus departments and external e-scooter providers to make certain that our community understands how to “scoot smart” and can successfully adhere to the new regulations. 

  • This includes participating in spring semester welcome back events, and hosting pop-up events focused around e-scooter regulation and safety information.
  • Notifications about the regulations will reach e-scooter riders directly through external e-scooter provider apps (Ex. VeoRide and BIRD). 
  • Safety information is also available on the DOTS website, and shared in newsletters and on social media.

What happens if I am parked incorrectly?

  • E-scooters that are owned by a third party, such as VeoRide or BIRD, will be relocated to the nearest e-scooter parking areas if found parked improperly. DOTS will fine the corporate owner, and the corporate owner may pass those fineson to the user. 
  • E-scooters that are personally owned will be impounded if found parked improperly, and must be picked up from the DOTS Office in Regents Drive Garage. Impound and storage fines will apply.

Why can’t I park at bike racks?

We are asking e-scooters riders to park in designated e-scooter parking so we can maximize our bike parking for cyclists. 

Why can’t we just install more bike racks instead of designated e-scooter parking?

The boxes are more adaptable than bike rack hardware. They give us the flexibility to adjust our parking as we learn the needs of e-scooter users, and understand how this new technology integrates with other transportation options on campus.

I have a personal e-scooter. Will there be a way for me to lock it in designated e-scooter areas?

Yes. In the coming weeks, e-scooter locking infrastructure will be installed in designated parking areas.

How are we going to accommodate the influx of e-scooters on campus with parking?

There are now more e-scooter parking locations on campus, and we intend to continue expanding parking options as needed throughout the spring semester.

Do e-scooters follow different rules than bicycles?

Maryland State Law now regulates e-scooters under the same code that regulates standard bicycles. This means that, operationally, bicycles and e-scooters are now treated the same. Both vehicles must ride in the road, follow all traffic signs and signals, ride with the flow of traffic, and yield to all pedestrians. We encourage you to read both our campus bicycle regulations and e-scooter regulations for full details.

In regards to e-scooter parking, the boxes are more adaptable than bike rack hardware. They give us the flexibility to adjust our parking as we learn the needs of e-scooter users, and understand how this new technology integrates with other transportation options on campus. View our e-scooter parking locations. If you have suggestions for new e-scooter parking locations, please email bike@umd.edu.

Why can’t e-scooters ride on the sidewalk?

E-scooters are vehicles and must be operated on the road under Maryland State Law. If you must use the sidewalk for portions of your trip, you should get off and walk your e-scooter. Pedestrians are unpredictable and vulnerable on sidewalks and may not be able to anticipate an oncoming e-scooter.

I feel unsafe riding on the road, what should I do?

If you feel unsafe riding on the road, you should dismount and walk your e-scooter on the sidewalk until you feel comfortable riding on the road again. Keep in mind that, as with a bicycle, you may take up the full lane when using your e-scooter and cars are required to give at least 3 feet of space when passing.