Austin had a flurry of scooter activity (and discussion) in 2018, ending the year with seven active companies and more than 11,000 of the dockless vehicles on the streets. Lest anyone think we’re in danger of slowing down on that front this year: Ojo electric scooters will soon be flitting about the city, according to a Wednesday Community Impact story, making it the eighth scooter company at residents’s disposal.
The company chose the Austin market for its first launch and has been permitted for 100 scooters.
Unlike the stand-up, kick-style scooters the city has seen so far, Ojo‘s are modeled on the Vespa/moped style that can be seen in films from Roman Holiday to Quadrophenia or on pretty much any street in Italy. While less stylish than their inspiration, Ojos have standing or sitting options, built-in bluetooth speakers, and phone chargers. The vehicle can be driven for up to 50 miles when fully charged and reach a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour.
Also unlike the other such companies in town, Ojo has a partnership with a Austin B-cycle operator Bike Share of Austin subsidiary Austin Commuter Scooter. It will provide operational and customer support to the company, and Ojo will share usage and trend data with the city for use in improving regulations and safety.
Ojo’s website indicates that its scooters are more durable than some of the “disposable” ones that are out there now, and therefore it’s a more sustainable transportation option. It also recharges its vehicles batteries rather than outsourcing that job to individuals through an app.
Ojo rentals cost 18 cents per minute after an initial $1.25 to get going, and the compan is offering a $5 credit when you download the app.