It’s no secret that Dallas and its scooters have fallen hard for each other over these last few months, and although fall weather is in theory right around the corner, a highly recognizable scooter company is betting this isn’t just a summer fling.
That’s right: dust off your elbow pads, children of the ’90s. Load a little Simple Plan on the MP3 player. Razor scooters are back!
Officials said, during a briefing to the city’s Mobility Solutions, Infrastructure & Sustainability Committee yesterday afternoon, that the folks that popularized the scooter at the turn of the millennium are back in the game, entering the increasingly profitable scooter-share space. Michael Rogers, director of the city’s department of transportation, says Razor USA could join the fray with 1,000 scooters “possibly later this week.” Razor’s version appears to be red, as the photo above this post shows.
It’s a reflection of just how well things are going for Dallas’ current scooter companies, which are Bird, with 3,000 scooters, and Lime, with 2,000.
Since the City Council peeled back a ban on motorized scooters and instituted regulations on bikeshare in June, the transportation mix has shifted dramatically. Bikeshare companies Ofo, Mobile, and Spin took their bikes and left (or dumped them in landfills and left), while Lime reduced its fleet to 1,000 bikes.
Rogers’ briefing showed the strength of Dallas’ growing love affair with scooters. Since July 1, there have been about 450,000 scooter trips compared to about 32,000 on bike. Scooter riders go for a little over a mile per ride, where bikers stop at about two-thirds of a mile. And at peak bike usage in early March, Rogers said, each bike was used for an average of just .7 rides per day. Meanwhile, as of mid-September, each scooter was being used 4.4 times per day.
Committee members were, not surprisingly, largely supportive of how things are going. They approved a six-month expansion of the pilot program, although Councilman Tennell Atkins, who represents a wide swath of southern Dallas, questioned what exactly the city would continue analyzing. Rogers offered citations as a for instance—as in, how the city might be able to send automatic citations, red-light camera style, to riders who break the rules by, say, riding on the Katy Trail (where scooters are banned). That might not sit well with everyone, but it’s a conversation for another day. Today, the Scoot Troop rejoices.