E-Scooters

An e-scooter in Waller Creek
Julia Reihs / KUT

Starting Friday, geofencing will reduce the speed of rented e-scooters when they enter restricted areas in Austin. Riders will be alerted before they enter an area where scooters are not allowed, such as the Butler Hike and Bike Trail.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin has firmed up rules of the road for people riding rentable, dockless e-scooters. The city council unanimously approved the rules Thursday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Nearly 200 people were injured because of rentable scooters between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30 last year, according to a first-of-its-kind study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin Public Health Department.

During that time, there were about 940,000 rides taken in Austin overall, according to the Austin Transportation Department. That results in a ratio of 20 injuries per 100,000 rides.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Rentable scooter riders on the 40 Acres will now no longer be able to ride faster than 8 mph, according to UT Austin.

The university said Bird, Jump, Lyft and Lime's e-scooters will have speed restrictions on the lion's share of UT's campus starting tomorrow. The decision comes at the suggestion of a campus safety group and was done in cooperation with the providers, UT said.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The introduction of dockless electric scooters to Austin's streets has come with its share of growing pains. Nine months since they were first introduced, you can see hundreds of scooters parked on the side of the street — especially in Central Austin.

But what exactly are the rules for riding scooters in the City of Austin?

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A crash last week killed a 21-year-old scooter rider, the Austin Police Department says. The department says it's the first death related to a rented scooter in Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In Austin, and elsewhere, 2018 was the year of the scooter. Love them or hate them, they're all over the city's streets (and sidewalks) and they're here to stay – at least for now.

Now, a snapshot from the city gives more insight into where users rode scooters in 2018.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin trail-goers may encounter more electric scooters starting next month.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is launching a pilot program that will allow the e-scooters and e-bikes to ride on certain trails to better determine how riders can share trails with runners and cyclists in the future.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The ride-hailing company Uber launched its new JUMP e-scooters in Austin today.

Uber's JUMP e-bikes have been in Austin since the summer, but now the company is getting in on the city’s growing scooter culture. Uber plans to initially drop a few hundred of the scooters across the city. They can be found and reserved through the Uber app.

Emree Weaver for KUT

Paul McCartney, Metallica and dockless scooters are all back for the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. And as thousands of people make their way to Zilker Park, many will do so riding a scooter. And, like in other parts of town, parking them will be an issue.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

When electric scooters flooded into Austin, the companies that rent them touted their environmental benefits: “Riders were able to prevent 445,334 pounds of carbon emissions,” a press release from Bird said. The startup LimeBike estimated its scooters reduced 8,500 pounds of CO2 here in just two weeks.

But those numbers are based on some shaky assumptions.