AUSTIN — In an effort to "hold every dockless mobility company accountable to the rules," the City of Austin is punishing dockless scooter company Lime for violating a rule.
The city's transportation department is ordering a 20-percent reduction in Lime's dockless units -- that's 1,000 units -- after the company had more than 500 scooters in a specified area in downtown Austin. The city said this happened on five separate occasions between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20.
At the time, Lime was licensed to operate 500 scooters in that area and an additional 4,500 supplemental scooters in specified areas outside of it, the city said.
"We must hold every dockless mobility company accountable to the rules," said Robert Spillar, director of Austin Transportation, in a statement. "Our goal is to create a safe, equitable, fair and transparent mobility environment for everyone. This includes working to ensure that dockless mobility units are distributed equitably across the city in order to serve the mobility needs of people in as many parts of Austin as possible.”
The city said the department will reevaluate whether Lime is in good standing after 30 days of the punishment.
Lime released the following statement on Thursday:
“Austinites have embraced Lime scooters, riding over a million times since June. Austin is one of a handful of cities with caps and unique in its caps based on geographic areas. Due to extremely high demand from users, we had an unintentional overdeployment of scooters downtown. We have worked around the clock to fix it, and look forward to continuing to work with the City of Austin.”