Uber and Lyft drivers working late at night and into the early hours of the morning are as familiar with this problem as anyone else in DC: when you need to go, it depends on who and what you know. There is hardly any 24/7 public restroom access in Washington. And when nature calls after bars close for last call, if you don’t know of a nearby gas station or late-night diner, you might be finding yourself holding it for an uncomfortably long period of time. If the owner isn’t particularly friendly, you might find yourself buying something you don’t even want just to relieve yourself.
It doesn’t have to be like this, and fortunately the DC City Council is on the cusp of agreeing. Council members will soon be considering legislation that would improve public restroom access in the nation’s capital. The bill would take the first step toward identifying viable locations for 10 stand-alone public restrooms in DC. It would also offer incentives to create a network of private businesses that open their bathrooms to the public during hours of operation.
There is a simple vision behind the legislation, which has been championed by the People for Fairness Coalition of DC (PFFC): nobody in Washington DC should have to walk more than 10 minutes in commercial areas to safely access a public restroom. We at Drive United back this one hundred percent, and we’re asking rideshare drivers and those who want to support them to sign our petition. Tell the City Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser that we can’t hold it any longer.
Drivers and riders are now able to report claims of sexual misconduct to Uber if they are victimized while using the rideshare service. The company said that it’s collecting complaints on incidents ranging from harassment to sexual assault. Uber representatives say that they want to know about allegations even if they don’t rise to the level of criminality so they can address concerns about behavior. [WUSA]
There will be an uptick in dockless electric scooters on the roads of DC next year. The District Department of Transportation is permitting companies to start off 2019 with 600 scooters on the road, up from 400 presently. Agency officials could also allow firms operating the electric scooters to increase the size of their fleet by 25 percent every three months. There are five companies offering electric scooter services in DC–two of them are Lyft and Uber. [Curbed DC]. A study on Portland, Ore. published last month indicates that electric scooters could be an alternative to cars for many people taking short-distance trips. [Greater Greater Washington]
A company linking customers with lawnmowing services through an app has opened in Washington, D.C. The San Diego-based Lawn Love uses satellite images to estimate a quote in minutes for customers and their local lawn care providers. The firm claims that its platform helps existing local companies, unlike other tech “disrupters.” [WTOP]
The Washington, D.C. government is planning on adding more drop-off and pick-up spaces through the city for rideshare and taxi drivers. The spots will be in Georgetown, NOMA/Union Market, 14th and U Streets NW, the National Wharf, and near the Connecticut Ave. entrance of the National Zoo. City officials say there will be a 30-day comment period, and then the changes will take effect next month. [WJLA]
Thoughts on this story or this issue? Write us at DriveUnitedDC@gmail.com.