Shared Micromobility in Austin

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Photo of E-Scooter and Bicycle Parking in Austin. Shows a parking station nearest the curb on the sidewalk with 2 scooters within the parking area.

What is Micromobility?

Micromobility (previously known as dockless mobility) refers to scooters, skateboards, or other compact devices designed for personal mobility. These devices are often electric and can be either privately owned or part of a shared micromobility service. City Council adopted an ordinance regarding bicycle and micromobility use on May 23, 2019. Micromobility is distinct from bikeshare and personally owned bicycles. It also does not describe electric personal assistive mobility devices, such as electric wheelchairs, or medical devices.

A Dockless Mobility Community Survey was open for public feedback throughout the month of August 2018. Download the community survey results.

Using Shared Micromobility Services

People who plan to use shared micromobility services should do so in a safe and ethical manner. Please follow these guidelines to help keep Austin moving safely.

  • Pedestrians First - Yield to people walking on sidewalks.
  • Park Responsibly - Park in a secure, upright position in designated areas, such as furniture zones of sidewalks, public bike racks and other marked parking zones. On sidewalks, give at least 3 feet of clearance for accessibility.
  • Stay on Right of Way - Do not take devices to unauthorized areas, such as private property, parkland, or state-owned land, unless otherwise authorized.
  • Know What You're Sharing - Users have access to micromobility services without having to share Personally Identifiable Information and can opt in to data sharing only after getting clear information about what data will be shared.
  • Right and Report - If you see a unit toppled over or parked improperly, help out by righting the unit and reporting the issue to Austin 3-1-1.

Shared Micromobility Issues? Report It Using the Austin 3-1-1 App

When a micromobility issue is reported through the Austin 3-1-1 app, the City of Austin will route it directly to the company that owns the bike or scooter in question. With your request, you can include a photo and location along with a description of the issue, the name of the company that owns the bike or scooter, and the color of the unit. Users can download the app from the Google Play Store or iTunes Store. Users with Blackberry, Palm, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices can access it at 311.austintexas.gov. You can also contact Austin 3-1-1 by phone.

What is Micromobility?

Micromobility (previously known as dockless mobility) refers to scooters, skateboards, or other compact devices designed for personal mobility. These devices are often electric and can be either privately owned or part of a shared micromobility service. City Council adopted an ordinance regarding bicycle and micromobility use on May 23, 2019. Micromobility is distinct from bikeshare and personally owned bicycles. It also does not describe electric personal assistive mobility devices, such as electric wheelchairs, or medical devices.

A Dockless Mobility Community Survey was open for public feedback throughout the month of August 2018. Download the community survey results.

Using Shared Micromobility Services

People who plan to use shared micromobility services should do so in a safe and ethical manner. Please follow these guidelines to help keep Austin moving safely.

  • Pedestrians First - Yield to people walking on sidewalks.
  • Park Responsibly - Park in a secure, upright position in designated areas, such as furniture zones of sidewalks, public bike racks and other marked parking zones. On sidewalks, give at least 3 feet of clearance for accessibility.
  • Stay on Right of Way - Do not take devices to unauthorized areas, such as private property, parkland, or state-owned land, unless otherwise authorized.
  • Know What You're Sharing - Users have access to micromobility services without having to share Personally Identifiable Information and can opt in to data sharing only after getting clear information about what data will be shared.
  • Right and Report - If you see a unit toppled over or parked improperly, help out by righting the unit and reporting the issue to Austin 3-1-1.

Shared Micromobility Issues? Report It Using the Austin 3-1-1 App

When a micromobility issue is reported through the Austin 3-1-1 app, the City of Austin will route it directly to the company that owns the bike or scooter in question. With your request, you can include a photo and location along with a description of the issue, the name of the company that owns the bike or scooter, and the color of the unit. Users can download the app from the Google Play Store or iTunes Store. Users with Blackberry, Palm, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices can access it at 311.austintexas.gov. You can also contact Austin 3-1-1 by phone.

If you have any comments regarding dockless mobility in Austin, please leave them here. 

Scooters are a necessary addition to our city. Austin is in dire straits with regards to its transportation infrastructure and we NEED alternative mobility options like bike and scooter rentals, carshare programs and any other solutions that keep people from getting in their cars. The scooters are a positive move in that direction but there are legitimate concerns about safety (for both the riders and pedestrians) and the littering of our sidewalks. The larger safety issue has less to do with the scooters than it does with riders. The vast majority of riders that I have encountered are reckless, inconsiderate and senseless. Any technology can be dangerous if the user is not respectfully engaged with it (texting and driving). This is going to be the biggest challenge for the scooter companies and the city to tackle. How do you monitor user behavior and enforce the rules? Seems impossible. I have been nearly run over dozens of times on the sidewalks, I have witnessed people scootering in bike lanes going the opposite direction on one-way streets like Lavaca, I see two people (sometimes an adult and a child) on a scooter almost every day that I venture out walking. The dockless issue also need addressing. I don't see a future where dockless is a sustainable option. Our city sidewalks are an absolute mess. Aesthetically they are an unattractive, cluttered junk heap and that only serves to encourage more of the type of behavior that created it. Riders and scooter vendors are going to have to make a sacrifice that results in a docks-only scenario. This would mean that riders might have to walk 6 blocks to get a scooter and vendors would need to use geofencing to require that scooters be docked before terminating the rentals. This might likely lead to less ridership but I can't see a solution to the "SClitter" problem that doesn't include mandatory docking.Beyond that, law enforcement needs to crack down on user violations (good luck) and the city needs to pressure the scooter companies to take ownership of these problems. The city also should demand infrastructure improvement contributions from these companies. Don't get me wrong, I think the scooters are a necessity and I am glad that we have them as a mobility option. I want this to work but it's a tall order. Banning the scooters is a regressive option that only sets the city back in their pursuit of the Mobility Solutions Initiative.

geigreg 7 months ago

Thanks for the opportunity to comment but I don't see how you will be able to take these from comments to actionable items without a further surveys. Personally, I don't think the above etiquette flyer will do any good. It's cute but it's not legible from a distance I question anyone reading, except those providing feedback on this thread. Very very few people wear a helmet and I see two on scooters all the time. Underage children and even parents with their underage children riding double. The scooters are also all over the place, including parkland, sidewalks, ADA ramps, etc. I just re-read 1-6 above, it's a bit laughable as I see those rules broken multiple times a day. I'd like to see Austin have rules with true meaning. Maybe Austin should ask each company to provide funds for Austin to hire a scooter/bike police force that will identify and ticket those not obeying the rules.

kristinm 7 months ago

Is this what our city is looking toward to solve mobility issues? Scooters? How long will Austin continue to stick its head in the sand and willfully ignore that we need solid, workable, fundamental change in how traffic (automotive and pedestrian) is handled. The city must have a plan! The Mopac expansion is a joke, and this scooter "solution" is a farce. We need public transportation. Period. Why waste even one minute on the scooter "issue"? Get them out of Austin and focus on a REAL plan for public transportation.

srad 7 months ago

Can anyone please explain why our City Council has allowed and continues to encourage the expansion of dockless scooters? It just boggles the mind that anyone would want to encourage this metal detritus within our city.Are there significant sums of money flowing into the city coffers in exchange for allowing these dangerous (to riders & public) scooters? If so, we do not seem to be spending those big bucks on establishing, communicating or enforcing safety regulations.Abandoned scooters are not just an eyesore, they also create accessibility difficulties for folks with mobility impairments. As a downtown resident who walks frequently, our sidewalks and trails were not designed for sharing our bodies with motorized machines.Why don’t we, as a city, emulate other large cities like Seattle who are trying to keep these scooter sharing companies out until they can modify laws and roads to make them safer?

Connie Temple 7 months ago

There are far too many naysayers when new technology emerges. I believe scooters are an innovative solution to our growing traffic problem. Plan cities for people, not cars. I no longer drive downtown to work because I can scooter, keeping one less car on the road. I use a helmet. I use bike lanes. I park at a bike rack. And although I have had one wipeout, we can still all agree that more people are injured, and to a graver degree, due to cars.

tlc789 7 months ago

Will Bird recommit to donating a dollar per rental or a million dollars for cities to expand bike lanes as they initially promised?

Nicholas Littlejohn 7 months ago

I work downtown, and in general scooters are a nuisance. More and more show up daily as multiple companies are vying for the same customers. I feel like they should be used exclusively on the street as it's a motorized vehicle. The sidewalk should be used for pedestrians. They are an eyesore. They take up a large portion of the sidewalk. It's essentially garbage, where people leave them wherever. They block handicap accessible ramps lots of times. People drive them up into parking garages, where they just stay for days and days. They are turning into throwaway items as they aren't durable enough to last very long. The latest figure I heard was that they last an average of 28 days, where they need to last about 3 months to make it profitable for these companies. That is just going to lead to massive amounts of garbage as month after month these scooters break down. It's not worth whatever they gain.

Jenna 7 months ago

The scooters are a profound juxtaposition on our central streets in contrast to our mobility challenged. What are our priorities for niche technology? Is it to expedite foot traffic for those who can easily get around, already unassisted? To solve real issues? Or, to embrace new ideas for the sake of novelty? Can the taxes for the scooters at least go toward sidewalks and sidewalk repairs for those with strollers, wheelchairs, or anyone differently abled? On a side note, it's also difficult to see both our homelessness and toppled scooters. Curious. There has got to be a better way.

At Home in Austin Since 1990 7 months ago

These scooters MUST have a home. They are dangerous for residents with limited mobility due to their constant obstruction of sidewalks. They are unsightly and pose a threat to riders and those around them. The reasonable approach is to install safe docking stations, people will never take the care to park them safely unless it is required.

atx 7 months ago

These scooters are too dangerous. How many more head injuries or deaths is too many? They are also being thrown into Lady Bird Lake polluting the water. Finally, they are an eyesore and are just dumped anywhere. I have seen them laying in a neighbor's yard and on sidewalks that would block wheelchairs and we have a blind neighbor that doesn't need new obstacles to contend with. Also, people need more exercise not less.The same goes for the bicycles and people are not using helmets on either.San Marcos has banned them so I think Austin can do the same.

slland 7 months ago

I BELIEVE THE DOCKLESS SCOOTERS ARE DANGEROUS TO RIDER AND PUBLIC. THEY ARE ABANDONED ALL OVER THE CITY, ACROSS SIDEWALKS, ON LAWNS ETC. THEY NEED TO BE OUTLAWED FROM AUSTIN SIDEWALKS AND STREETS. BICYCLES ARE OK.

BADGER 7 months ago