Lyft, the only national ride-hailing company that has proven to provide any serious competition with Uber, jumped into the Austin scooter fray Tuesday. Its electric scooters will join those of Lime, Bird, and Uber’s Jump on city streets. Lyft is licensed to operate 500 of the increasingly popular vehicles in Austin.
Perhaps to avert the common objection that e-scooters and bikes are parked in a wanton manner, blocking sidewalks and thwarting accessibility in some places, Lyft will work with the city on placing docks for its scooters on streets with high demand and near transit stations. The company also announced that it will pick up scooters nightly for charging and maintenance, reallocating them throughout the city each morning.
Scooters will cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents for each minute of riding under Lyft’s one-year pilot program. As with Uber’s Jump line, Lyft scooter riders can use its existing app to rent and use the zippy electric vehicles.
Austin is the fifth market where Lyft operates its scooter program. Its operating area will be in the city’s center and a few streets east, with the exception of the state Capitol grounds.