Could scooters save public transit in Austin?


While scooter-haters are armed with an abundance of anecdotes describing dangerous behavior by scooterists, the empirical evidence suggests that scootering is resulting in very few injuries. From my reporting in the Monitor this morning:

Despite the frequent anecdotes about reckless scooterists, so far there have been very few injuries attributed to scooters. Between May 7 and Sept. 6, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services only reported 28 injuries involving scooters and no fatalities.

During that same period there were 1,945 people injured and eight people killed in cars, while 91 pedestrians were injured and 12 killed by cars. JonMichael still stressed that the department is taking scooter safety seriously, and is planning to deploy an army of city staffers to the streets to educate riders on proper scooter etiquette.

Something that I forgot to mention in the article: Transportation staff says that scooters are frequently being dropped off at bus stops, suggesting that a lot of people are using the scooters as a first-mile solution to connect with public transit, which is exactly what we should hope for.

This leads to another question…could scooters have something to do with the boost in Cap Metro ridership?

It definitely makes sense for me. I had a doctor’s appointment at St. David’s hospital the other day at Red River & E. 30th. I had to get there from my place (south of Oltorf and east of S. Lamar). I took the 803 to Dean Keaton knowing that I would bump into a scooter within seconds of disembarking  and then scootered 0.8 miles to the doctor. That scooter ride took less than four minutes, much faster than my other options: walking or transferring to the 20 bus downtown.

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