1,000 Lime e-scooters removed from streets because of violation

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — As of Monday, 1,000 fewer e-scooters will be on the streets of Austin. The city ordered Lime to remove 20 percent of its fleet for 30 days.

Austin said Lime had too many scooters in the downtown area on five different times between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20. Part of the city code prohibits it from having more than 500 scooters in that area because it can be a safety issue. 

“As many as 624 units more than their authorized allowance were documented,” Austin Transportation Department Director Rob Spillar wrote in a memo. He added that Lime was told it had too many scooters, but didn’t do anything about it.

Austin is one of a handful of cities with caps on scooters, and the only city that has those caps based on geographic areas, according to Lime Director of Government Relations and Strategic Development Sam Sadle.

“Due to extremely high demand from users, we had an unintentional overdeployment of scooters downtown,” Sadle said. “We have worked around the clock to fix it, and look forward to continuing to work with the City of Austin.”

Lime still has 4,000 scooters in and around Austin. After 30 days, the city will determine if the company is in good standing. If it is, it can add its other scooters back to the streets.

“This action is not anticipated to negatively impact users; we now have seven licensed companies
operating within Austin and there is sufficient supply to meet demand,” Spillar wrote.

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