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Scooter craze continues to grow in Austin

The City of Austin said they are monitoring supply and demand for scooters, along with how safe they are.

AUSTIN — There are more scooters in Austin today.

Lyft dropped off 500 scooters recently, so now Austin has more than 9,000 on the streets.

"The vision of the company is to be a one stop transportation solution and to help people move beyond personal car ownership,” Mike Kilpatrick, the operations manager for Lyft in Central Texas, said.

It has only been six months since the scooters started popping up around town.

RELATED: Lyft joins the scooter craze in Austin, deploys 500 scooters

The City of Austin said they are monitoring supply and demand for scooters, along with how safe they are.

That's essentially how they decide to give out more permits for scooters.

And, as of now, there are no concrete plans to slow down scooter usage.

Back in May, there were about 1,500 permitted scooters from three big companies: Lime, Bird and Uber.

RELATED: Texas Capitol staffers frustrated with dockless scooters

We asked Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo whether she thinks there are too many scooters.

"The city is monitoring this,” Tovo said. “This is a new program for Austin. And the city working with the companies and working with constituents throughout the city to determine kind of what that right number is."

Comparatively, Seattle is allowing 6,000 scooters per company.

The city's transportation department said it saw about 300,000 trips last month.

RELATED: Dockless scooter company Lime gets in trouble with City of Austin for breaking rule

One way Austin regulates scooters is checking that they are ridden twice daily at a minimum.

So, is the scooter market oversaturated?

Lyft says no.

"One of the things that differentiates us is that there's not a new app to download,” Kilpatrick said. “Not a new brand to become accustomed to.”

RELATED: Austinites react to city allowing electric scooters on trails this December

This Thursday, the city is having a meeting about transportation in the city, where they will be discussing both electric scooters and bikes. That meeting is at 3 p.m. at City Hall.


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