Dockless mobility company Lime is soon adding an additional 250 scooters to their fleet that will be placed north of downtown.
While the company did not specify when its Austin presence would expand, it did say the new service area will reach as far north as 45th Street from MoPac to I-35 — a swath of land that includes several neighborhoods north of campus.
Lime, which currently has 500 scooters out on Austin streets, was granted the permits for additional scooters to better serve traditionally underserved areas outside of Austin’s downtown core, said Sam Sadle, the director of government relations and strategic development for Lime.
“We’ve been approved for 750 dock-free mobility devices in and around the community, and frankly the uptake has been phenomenal,” Sadle said. “We found the people of Austin have really taken to dock-free mobility in a way that has really been quite something to behold.”
Dockless mobility companies that meet the City’s requirements may secure up to 500 permits, with additional allotments of 250 permits in underserved areas, according to Marissa Monroy, public information and marketing manager for the Austin Transportation Department.
“The company’s staff informed us that they selected this location to better serve the student population and local communities just north of the core area dockless mobility companies are currently serving,” Monroy said in an email.
Monroy also said the City anticipates launching a community survey ahead of a potential update to the rules for Austin’s dockless mobility program.
“This survey, as well as feedback from the City’s mobility related stakeholder groups and collaboration with other City departments, will also help guide staff as (they) look to make updates to the rules,” Monroy said in the email.
According to the City of Austin website, seven companies are currently licensed to operate dockless mobility devices. Companies such as Bird, Lime, Spin and GOAT have a combined total of 1,021 scooters, and Pace, Ofo and the recently added JUMP Bike make up the 1,083 bicycles found around Austin. Bird, Lime and Pace are all currently licensed to operate 500 units each.
Lime is currently the only dockless mobility company to be approved for additional vehicles to serve other areas of Austin, according to Monroy.
Ride-hailing company Uber has recently invested in Lime, according to a blog post by Lime’s founders posted on Monday. Multiple outlets have reported that users will be able to access Lime scooters through Uber’s app, though Sadle said this was something still under discussion.