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Uber Jumps Into E-Scooter Game In Austin

Gabriel C. Pérez
A man rides a scooter down South Lamar.

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.

Competitors Lime and Bird rolled out their scooters in Austin earlier this year.

Uber is offering free 30-minute rides now until Nov. 11. After that, rides will cost $1 for the first five minutes and 15 cents for each additional minute. Both Lime and Bird cost $1 to unlock and then 15 cents a minute.

The company is also giving away free helmets while supplies last. Riders can pick them up at Uber's Greenlight Hub at 507 Calles Street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m.

Austin is the second city in the country to have JUMP scooters; Uber first introduced them in Santa Monica, Calif., earlier this month.

"Austin is a hub for innovation and cares deeply about environmental sustainability," said Travis Considine, communications manager for Uber in Texas. "We share in the city’s vision to improve urban mobility and are committed to working with leaders to provide alternative transportation options."

Nadia Hamdan is a local news anchor and host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT.
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