Dockless Bikes

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Dockless vehicle providers now have rules for operating in Austin after a City Council vote early this morning, giving providers a framework to deploy dockless bikes and scooters legally by as soon as next week.

The unanimous vote rolls dockless vehicles into a city ordinance banning abandoned vehicles from blocking rights-of-way like sidewalks and sets up a framework to penalize dockless vehicles operating illegally in Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Jumping the gun works, it seems.

While city staff were devising a pilot program to govern dockless bikes and scooters, expecting to bring a proposal to council members in June, two companies dropped their electric scooters throughout the city. Now the Austin Transportation Department has proposed fast-tracking approval of the pilot program.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Sometimes solving a problem creates a problem.

The city’s transportation department hosted a roundtable this morning to avoid that very maxim as it relates Austin’s rollout of dockless bikes – those smartphone-enabled rental bikes that have cropped up (and all over) cities like Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Dallas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This post has been updated to reflect the Austin City Council's approval of the pilot program.

Nobody wants to be the withholding stepparent.

That’s why, when dockless bike companies Ofo and Spin rolled out over SXSW last year, they put the city in a tough spot.