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500 new e-scooters will hit Austin streets

California-based app Skip tosses new fleet into the local mix

Close-up of e-scooter handle light blue with yellow lettering that says “Let’s Go!”
Skip scooter
Shutterstock

There will be more electronic scooters on local streets by the end of the week, KXAN reported Saturday. California-based company Skip, which has outlets in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., is expanding to Austin and expects to deploy 500 of its vehicles in Austin by Friday.

Skip unveiled the scooters at a Scooter Safety Summit hosted by Austin City Councilmember Kathie Tovo Saturday. The event, which included representatives from the Austin Transportation Department, Austin Police Department, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, as well as a number of e-scooter companies, was held to educate riders about rules and safety requirements for the vehicles.

A recent study conducted by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in conjunction with Austin Public Health found that a high proportion of local e-scooter injuries were preventable and could potentially be reduced with more education of first-time riders, more messaging about scooter safety, and more wearing of helmets.

Skip recently removed its e-scooters from Washington, D.C., streets temporarily after the district’s Department of Transportation suspended the company’s license to operate in that area for 30 days in response to a warehouse fire in the area that the company related to one of its scooter batteries. The company told the Washington Post it had also learned of two other Skip-related fires that occurred in the area last fall.

A Skip scooter also burst into flames in downtown Washington in late May, prompting the company to suspend its operations temporarily then, the Washington Post reported at the time. The company also pulled its San Francisco scooters voluntarily at that time.

With the launch of Skip, there are now eight e-scooter companies operating in Austin. The city has approved two additional companies—Razor and Wind Mobility—top operate in the city. According to KXAN, they will add 700 more scooters to the market.