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Spin scooters wheel into town

Ford-owned company enters Austin market

Courtesy of Spin

Spin e-scooters will enter the Austin market next Friday, December 28, increasing the city’s number of rentable dockless vehicles by a modest 100 scooters, with plans to expand locally over the next year and a half.

The company, which was recently purchased by Ford, is taking the opposite approach from that some dockless-scooter and -bicycle companies took with their initial deployments, which were a bit frenzied and in some cases unauthorized.

Bird and Lime, which still have the most vehicles operating locally, initially launched operations illegally in the city in March, but were back in business by May. (Lime is still playing the upstart, though, and was recently banished briefly from Downtown after putting more scooters than allowed in the area.)

Lyft and Uber later joined the fray in more orderly fashion, and now Austin has almost 12,000 dockless vehicles, most of them scooters, on the street. At year’s end, this city is the location of the first CDC scooter safety study and is experimenting with allowing the vehicles on local trails.

According to an email from a Spin representative, the company is entering the Austin market with a small fleet because it plans to gauge demand before increasing the number to around 400. The company also plans to expand its e-scooter service to 100 cities across the country.