Austin Transportation is taking steps to test the usability of universal e-scooter parking and charging stations in downtown Austin and other high scooter traffic areas. The universal stations are being provided by Swiftmile Inc. The no-cost pilot project will last for six months.
While these devices offer an inexpensive and green means of transportation, the companies that provide them often offer little in the way of storage. In the past, e-scooters have cluttered sidewalks and been left in potentially dangerous places. As a result, it’s not uncommon to hear about pedestrian accidents related to e-scooters.
This goal of Austin’s program is to determine how effectively charging and parking stations can be used to manage sidewalk clutter, increase accessibility, and improve access to fully charged electric scooters. During the course of this pilot program, e-scooter users will be able to park and charge at the stations for free.
The temporary stations are primarily located downtown. Locations were chosen based on travel patterns and data collected since April 2018. If you’re looking for a parking/charging station, you’ll find them at the following locations:
- 900 Electric Drive
- 609 Davis Street
- 110 E. 5th Street
- 2104 Guadalupe Street
- 601 Congress Avenue
- 401 Congress Avenue
- 500 W. 2nd Street
- 302 E. Cesar Chavez
- 114 Barton Springs Road
- 1412 S. Congress Avenue
Austin Transportation plans to roll out the program in two phases. In phase one, stations will only serve as organized parking spaces. Charging capabilities will not be available. Each station will offer six to eight spaces. In phase two, batteries will be added to the stations to allow for charging while parked. While phase two is currently scheduled to start in late August, the timeframe will ultimately be determined by market forces and scooter data. E-scooter ridership has been down in light of COVID-19, so Austin Transportation needs to ensure there is adequate e-scooter usage to accurately evaluate outcomes.
For the duration of this project, city staff and Swiftmile employees will conduct surveys to collect feedback related to the stations. In addition to that, the stations will be regularly cleaned and sanitized. Overall, the outcome of this project will help inform programs and policies around scooters in the future.
While parking and charging stations have the potential to encourage riders to operate their vehicles responsibly and leave them in places where no one will get hurt, some riders will still act negligently. In the event you’re injured in an e-scooter accident, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. The Rideshare Law Group represents accident victims on a nationwide basis. Contact us today to learn more.