Geofencing aims to stop people riding scooters in Austin parkland

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Scooter riders who try to hop onto the Hike-and-Bike Trail will find themselves slowing down and get an alert that they’re not supposed to be there.

The change using geofencing technology is part of a partnership between scooter companies and Austin’s Parks and Recreation and Transportation Departments. Scooter users aren’t supposed to ride on non-paved trails and only electric bikes are allowed right now on the Hike-and-Bike Trail.

“The goal of geofencing is to discourage illegal scooter use on parkland while still allowing park patrons access to facilities,” the city wrote in a release. “This change is in response to growing concern over safety and inappropriate use of micromobility devices on parkland.”

Currently, a pilot program is in place where scooters are allowed on certain trails and the city is asking for feedback. It’s expected to end in late September, and initial findings will be shared this fall.

Scooter companies implemented similar geofencing technology at the University of Texas at Austin starting earlier this year, which makes scooters travel a maximum of 8 mph on campus.

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