The City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation and Transportation Departments are partnering with local scooter companies to protect parkland while providing access to park amenities. Beginning on Sept. 6, 2019, a technology known as “geofencing” will discourage scooter usage on parkland. Scooters that attempt to ride on non-paved trails, such as the Butler Hike and Bike Trail, will enter GPS controlled zones that automatically slow riders down. In addition to slowing the device down, alerts will notify the rider that they’ve entered a non-authorized use area.
Micromobility users are encouraged to ride to parks and on park roads and paved trails, and to park appropriately. The goal of geofencing is to discourage illegal scooter use on parkland while still allowing park patrons access to facilities. This change is in response to growing concern over safety and inappropriate use of micromobility devices on parkland.
A pilot program exploring micromobility use on City trails began in January 2019 and ends later in September. Initial findings are expected to be shared late this fall. Prior to January 2019, scooters were prohibited on all City of Austin parkland.
The pilot program’s purpose is to examine how micromobility vehicles impact the comfort, mobility, and safety of trail users as well as trail integrity. Surveys and small group conversations have provided valuable feedback along with user data metrics. Members of the public can share their opinion until September 15 at speakupaustin.org/e-trails.
The public can report problems to 311.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701