By Morgan Montalvo
City officials want to hear from the public as interest in, and use of, so-called dockless vehicles pick up speed, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The diminutive, battery-powered, two-wheeled scooters bridge the gap between skateboards and larger means of transportation and offer short-range convenience at the touch of an app and entry of a credit card number.
With two companies now offering the scooters for point-to-point conveyance, and more firms positioning to enter the San Antonio market, bureaucrats see now as the time to formulate use policy that allows the market to flourish while protecting street and sidewalk accessibility.
“Are they concerned about how they’re being parked, are they concerned about how they’re being used?” says John Jacks with the city’s Center City Department. “That way, we can draft some regulations that really kind of reasonably address people’s concerns, but also give enough flexibility for people to use them.”
About 150 people attended Tuesday evening’s City of San Antonio-sponsored information session on dockless vehicles at the Downtown Public Library.
At the gathering, attendees were asked to share on cards and poster boards their thoughts about a range of concerns, including safety, permitting, age restrictions and use areas.
For local cyclist Damian Cruz, safety is Priority One.
“I’ve never lived in a city where I’ve seen so much bike-related incidents,” says Cruz, a New York City native and IT student who has ridden dockless vehicles around Downtown San Antonio and also monitored their use in San Francisco and Cincinnati.
“I think they’re really cool. They’re fun. Safety is the only thing I’m worried about,” Cruz says.
"Dockless vehicle" scooters line the sidewalk outside the Downtown Public Library during Tuesday evening's City of San Antonio-sponsored community forum on the emerging form of short-range rental transportation. Photo by Morgan Montalvo