Rideables are portable, motorized devices for travel on streets, sidewalks and paved paths. Also referred to as personal mobility devices. Rideables can include hoverboards, motorized scooters, motorized skateboards and one-wheels. In general, rideables do not include motorized wheelchairs/scooters.

Benefits & Problems Addressed

Augmented pedestrian travel: Rideables can enhance pedestrian & bicycle travel for faster first/last mile to transit access and short trips.

Portability: Rideables are compact and portable. Size/weight range from small single wheel devices to larger motorized bicycles and scooters.

Tips & Techniques

Types: The range of rideables include (1) small motorized skateboards, hoverboards & wheels, also referred to as self-balancing scooters; 2) electrified bicycles; and (3) scooters (including Segways). Small rideables have a top speed up to 10 miles per hour and a range of 10-25 miles. Larger scooter and bicycles have higher speeds, weight and ranges. 

Regulations: Check to see if rideables are prohibited on streets & sidewalks. For example, rideables are illegal to use on British streets. Other regulations include (1) prohibition on highways; (2) helmet requirements; (3) prohibition while under the influence of drugs/alcohol; (4) safety tests.

Fit within transportation planning: Cities & towns need to decide how rideables fit in order to plan and manage sidewalks, lanes & street travel.  In 2018, several companies  deployed motorized scooters, sometimes with no permission or communications with local governments.  In response, localities are designing fees to build out infrastructure.

Hot Buttons: Rideables pose impact and conflicts with non-motorized travelers. A proliferation of comapnies are adding scooters and rideables to shared-use mobility portfolios. Rideables, in particular hoverboards, are prone to fire and safety hazards from overheating.


AB 604 - California bill:  Electrically motorized boards 

§ 46.2-908.1 - Code of Virginia, Electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric personal delivery devices, electrically powered toy vehicles, and electric power-assisted bicycles.

Image credit: Ben Larcey/Flickr