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Skip scooters suspended in D.C. after fires

Curbed logo Curbed 6/20/2019 Andrew Giambrone
a pair of black shoes: Skip scooter© Shutterstock Skip scooter

The city has told the company to remove its scooters from the streets

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The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has suspended the permit allowing San Francisco-based mobility company Skip to deploy electric scooters in D.C., the Washington Post and NBC4 report. The permit suspension, expected to last for at least 30 days, follows a fire at Skip’s District warehouse early Wednesday that the company linked to used batteries.

It also comes after a Skip scooter caught fire in downtown D.C. in late May, leading Skip to temporarily pull its electric scooters from service in the District and San Francisco. DDOT, which gave Skip 24 hours Wednesday afternoon to remove the vehicles, told the Post it had also learned of two other Skip-related fires that occurred last fall. Skip’s D.C. permit allows for as many as 720 scooters, out of the nearly 5,000 total shared scooters and bikes allowed currently. (The latter number could grow in the coming months with additional operators.)

On Twitter, Skip said it was “fully cooperating” with the fire investigation and is working to accelerate how it disposes used batteries. The storage bin where the fire is believed to have broke out “contained batteries removed as a result of the proper operation of Skip’s quality control process,” the company wrote. Curbed has reached out to the company for additional comment. Skip is one of six companies permitted to provide electric scooters or bikes in D.C.

“DDOT’s priority is to maintain the safety of the public space and will continue to monitor the situation over the coming days,” the department told the Post and NBC4 in a statement. The District began allowing dockless vehicles in 2017 and has since expanded the program.

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