Electric scooters have started appearing around San Marcos after the city, in collaboration with Texas State University, signed a pilot agreement with Spin electric scooters.
Spin began a two-step deployment of 200 shared scooters, which began with 150 scooters left on Texas State’s campus on Wednesday. An additional 50 scooters will be left around the city starting Wednesday, Sept. 30.
“The scooter pilot program offers the opportunity to evaluate the feasibility of motor-assisted scooter use in the San Marcos community,” City Manager Bert Lumbreras said. “The pilot program will be measured, analyzed, and evaluated from the public safety and infrastructure limitation aspect as was planned through the recent Council adopted ordinance.”
The scooters come to San Marcos after the city council previously banned the use of commercial scooters in the city. An ordinance passed in May prohibits commercial scooter companies from placing or “dumping” motor-assisted scooters on public property, streets and sidewalks and prohibits residents from using them. In September 2018, Blue Duck Scooters dropped off 50 scooters which were later removed by the city and Texas State.
The May ordinance, however, left room for future city-approved pilot programs with commercial scooter companies.
The city said Monday that the pilot program established with Spin, “proactively addresses infrastructure limitations due to the restrictions placed on public transit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and meets a need for additional transportation options following the exit of Veo-Ride bikes from the community in August.” The city added that Spin also aims to provide a sustainable transit option with plans to become carbon negative by 2025.
“Collaboration with key city and university officials has been the driving force behind this partnership. It has allowed us to really work together to customize a pilot program that is focused on safety,” said Alex April, Spin’s senior manager of Government Partnerships. “This includes employing a local workforce to ensure the implementation of industry-leading COVID-19 safety protocols.”
Download the Spin app to register and locate scooters. The electric scooters will cost $1 to unlock and $0.29 per minute of use. The scooters will be available from 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. The city said riders should be aware that scooters must be parked in a designated scooter zone to end the ride and avoid additional fees. Spin’s COVID-19 safety and disinfecting protocols can be seen at https://youtu.be/ejP753r0qbQ. Additionally, Spin is offering to mail a help — rider pay for shipping only — to anyone who takes a safety quiz at https://www.spin.app/safety.
The Main Street program will assist downtown businesses with the introduction of the pilot program.
The city is asking all riders to wear masks and practice proper social distancing while operating Spin’s scooters.
To report issues with Spin scooters, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-262-5189.