AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just when you thought Austin couldn’t possibly hold any more scooters, a new company is hitting the scene.
Skip, a California based company, already has its electronic scooters in two cities: San Francisco and Washington D.C. The company is the latest company to bring two wheels to these city streets. It will bring 500 more by Friday.
Skip unveiled their scooters at the Scooter Safety Summit in downtown Austin. The summit was hosted by Austin City Council Member Kathie Tovo to help educate people on proper e-scooter rules and safety requirements.
Multiple scooter companies attended the event as well as representatives from the Austin Transportation Department, Austin Police Department, Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
“Austin is a great choice to expand our services and we’re really excited to be here,” said Greg Stewart, the operations manager for Skip.
“We have worked hard with Austin and city council to ensure that we will be operating as a partnership rather than a company coming in and dropping scooters off,” Stewart said.
That’ll total eight companies with wheels on the ground, with two more on the way. Transportation companies’ Razor and Wind Mobility have both been approved to launch in Austin. That’ll add 700 more scooters to the market.
The summit was held at Kathie Tovo’s District 9 office. Tovo has the highest scooter rate in her district.
“They want to continue operating here and have been really responsive to the ways Austin is regulating their appropriate use,” Tovo said.
Austinites can expect the new scooters on the streets starting Monday. By the end of the week, Skip is expecting to have 500 new scooters riding through Austin.
The fact of the matter is, people have really enjoyed the ride so far. City data shows Austinites have taken over four million scooter trips since the initiative launched last year.
While Tovo says she hears concerns about a lack of parking, sidewalk clutter and danger to pedestrians and drivers, she thinks there’s still room to grow.
“Over time, this will probably balance out as we get a sense of what our market can bare.”
Austin’s City Council is currently working with the companies to find a way to limit the speed and usage of the scooters in certain sections of the city, a term called geo-fencing. It’s already being used on the UT campus. At this point, the technology isn’t developed yet to implement it elsewhere.