E-bike & scooter policy

Good news for (some) e-bikes.

E-bike & scooter policy
The Alliance Children's Garden at Butler Metro Park.

Alright folks, I'm going to be out of town for a few days –– the next newsletter will be on Tuesday.

It's been six years since e-scooters suddenly appeared on Austin's streets, prompting delight and disgust from locals. At the time I viewed scooters as a miraculous innovation that would make car-free or car-light existence far more attainable in transit-poor cities like Austin.

Since then my enthusiasm for e-scooters has substantially cooled. I'm not against them, but I largely see them as a distraction from a far safer and cheaper alternative: e-bikes.

I don't have data demonstrating that they are far more dangerous than bikes, but my experience and the experience of others strongly supports that hypothesis. And as has been the case with many other venture-backed mobility startups, notably Uber & Lyft, the scooter services only seemed affordable at the beginning because they were offering rides at deeeeeeep discounts in a bid for market dominance. Back in '18 the standard price was $1 per ride plus 15¢ per minute. The per-minute fare for Lime is now 54¢. After sales tax, a 10-minute ride will run you near $7.