On April 26, Austin City Council will consider an ordinance change that will allow the City to launch a six-month dockless mobility pilot project – GPS-enabled bicycles and scooters that can be located and unlocked via an app. Part of the pilot project involves registration requirements, fees to recoup city expenses, and a 500 vehicle cap per operator.
ATA’s advocacy mission at City Hall is to support using tech as a tool to help solve civic challenges, and we certainly believe that the conversation around dockless mobility falls into that category. In fact, ATA’s recently released local policy agenda specifically calls to “[e]xpand existing bike-share options in Austin, including both docked and dockless bike-share.”
For tomorrow’s vote, ATA weighed in to Council with the following recommendations:
- We encourage Council to pass the agenda item to ensure that the dockless pilot project can launch and operators are able to begin working in the city as soon as possible.
- We believe Council should deliberate as to the potential impact of a $30/bike or scooter fee, which is – to our understanding – the highest in the country. In order to recoup those costs, operators might have to consolidate the bikes/scooters in the densest areas of the city – potentially resulting in equity concerns that could have been eliminated with a lower fee.
- We believe a hard cap of 500 vehicles per operator lacks the flexibility needed to expand the program into areas across the city outside of the urban core. Council should discuss whether there could be metrics to allow operators who have a proven, successful record in Austin to expand above the 500 cap.
Reach out to your Council Member and ask them to support dockless mobility options in Austin.
Interested in learning more about dockless bike-share in Austin? Check out our event on May 1.