AUSTIN, TEXAS — Because, as you might (or might not) agree, Austin needs more dock-less electric scooters on city roads and sidewalks, ride share firm Lyft added to the wheeled fleet with its own version of the contraptions, company officials announced Tuesday.

For further details on Lyft’s Scooters in Austin, including how to get started, how and where to ride, Austin’s traffic laws, and where to park your scooter, Lyft’s blog post is accessible HERE. Potential riders also are encouraged to check out Lyft President and Co-Founder John Zimmer’s post, which lays out Lyft’s vision for how Lyft Bikes and Scooters will reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled, increase public transportation trips and provide equitable transportation solutions for all.

Austin is the fifth market where Lyft is offering scooters on the Lyft platform, officials noted. Under the one-year pilot program, scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents for each minute users ride. Lyft’s scooters will be built into the existing Lyft app, and riders are able to reserve scooters ahead of time.

local_records_office_lyft_scooter1

he launch is the culmination of a corporate vision mapped out this past summer for how Lyft bikes & scooters will reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled, increase public transportation trips, and provide equitable transportation solutions, officials wrote in their blog. The launch was made possible via a trio of partnerships, officials noted:

“First, we’ll be donating proceeds to Austin’s Farm & City organization as they work towards creating safer streets, better transit, and affordable cities where all people can walk, bike, and wheelchair in our daily lives.”
“Additionally, we’ll be working with local workforce development agencies like the Austin Area Urban League to identify and recruit people for our operations positions that re-balance and charge our scooters.”
“Lastly, we’re excited to be developing a partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) & Austin Pathways. Our team in Austin will fund and work with mobility ambassadors from HACA to educate and help sign up other low-income housing members for our monthly equity pass of just $5 ensuring that our scooters are accessible for all riders.”

In a press advisory, Lyft officials said their scooters will be picked up nightly to charge and perform maintenance, reallocating the scooters throughout the city each morning. Lyft is also working with the City of Austin to place docks for riders to park their scooters on streets in areas where there is high demand and near transit stations, officials noted.

“Lyft believes scooters are a powerful and environmentally-friendly last-mile solution in Austin, complementing existing mobility options to help Austinintes get where they are headed and reducing congestion and carbon emissions in the city,” Mike Kilpatrick, Lyft Bikes & Scooters Austin, said in a prepared statement. “Lyft views the successful integration of scooters in Austin as part of a bigger movement to design cities for people, not just cars. Lyft looks forward to working in coordination with the city and other stakeholders on this issue into the future.”

Company officials made a point to note that Lyft will also be donating proceeds to Austin’s Farm & City (Vision Zero) organization as they work towards creating safer streets, better transit and affordable cities.

“Vision Zero Texas works closely with the City of Austin and regional and state leaders to meet the challenge of the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan – to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025, said Jay Blazek Crossley, Executive Director of Farm&City and Vision Zero ATX Board Member. “We are thrilled by Lyft’s support of our organization, and look forward to working with them to accelerate our efforts for safer streets.”

So now — in a whizzing and whooshing microcosm of the free market — there is increased competition and more product options, with Bird, Lime and Uber scooters already in the spirited mix as evidenced by the growing number of people riding them.

So you might think about wearing helmets and even pads as you traverse the streets. And that goes for you too, scooter riders.