City of Austin to charge regulatory fee for shared mobility trips

Posted: 12 December 2019 |

Between 1 January 2019 and 11 December 2019, there have reportedly been over five million trips made via shared mobility in Austin, which is said to amount to approximately $780,000 if the fee had been in place.

City of Austin to charge regulatory fee for shared mobility trips

The city of Austin will begin charging a $0.15 regulatory fee per trip on shared mobility vehicles, such as electric bikes and scooters.

The Austin Transportation Department (ATD) has introduced the fee as part of a series of revisions that plan to better govern shared mobility operators by having more staff available to monitor and regulate their operations. 

The city council authorised ATD to implement a fee of up to $0.40, but writing in a memorandum document, Robert Spillar, Director at ATD, said: “ATD met with each of the shared mobility providers individually to assess financial obligations and determine an appropriate per-trip regulatory fee. As a result of these meetings, we believe the implementation of a 15 cent per trip fee is both reasonable and practical, and will assist in funding the additional staff required to adequately regulate and monitor the shared mobility programme.”

ATD has said that it believes its current codified licensing framework, established in 2018, currently works, but understands that updates are necessary. It noted that a revisional update to the Director’s Rules would improve frictional operational issues and provide simplified access for new and innovative mobility options to enter Austin’s shared mobility marketplace. ATD has announced that the posting process for the revised Director’s Rules will begin in early 2020.

Rules will include the following:

  • Limitations on the number of devices deployed upon a single city block face
  • An expansion of the definition of ‘dockless’ to incorporate all types of shared mobility vehicles
  • Geographic zones and boundaries designed by ATD to allow for a more equitable and discreet provision of service
  • Additional penalties for providers who fail to comply with the City Code or Director Rules.