AUSTIN, Texas – A pilot dockless scooter program might be in the future for Austin, but transportation officials want to make sure they get it right.
A new memo sent to the City Council highlights how quickly dockless scooter operators have forced the hand of the city.
“That has forced the city to begin looking at what business related modalities we need to put into place today or in the very near future so that we can maintain a level of order in the city and on the sidewalk,” said Jason JonMichael with the City of Austin Transportation Department.
That memo offers recommendations, which could be rolled out as early as May 1, to regulate operators. Supporters say the recommendations are solutions for last-mile, or very short, trips.
“If you’re only going to go one block, five blocks, or ten blocks you don’t want to have to go another two or three blocks to find a parking space,” said Austinite Kevin Calman.
As of now, the scooter companies aren’t operating legally in the city, but that doesn’t mean transportation officials are ruling them out.
“The city of Austin and the Austin Transportation Department see this mode as a very unique and needed mode for that last mile,” said JonMichael.
Supporters of the programs recognize there are issues to address and lessons to learn from similar operations in cities like Fort Worth.
“There’s just bicycles everywhere. I can see how that becomes a nuisance and I don’t want to see that happen in my hometown,” said Calman.
A mobility committee will meet at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to talk about the dockless scooter recommendations.