Parking and Transportation Services impounds 39 scooters, fines companies

Jackson Barton

While football fans cheer on the No. 9 ranked Longhorn football team this Saturday, Bird and Lime riders who park their scooters past Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will have their scooters impounded. Whether riders will receive the $150 fine is unknown.

Blanca Gamez, assistant director at Parking and Transportation Services, said her department impounded 39 Bird and Lime commercial scooters that were parked past checkpoints on Sept. 22 during the Texas home football game. PTS charged Bird and Lime $150 for each scooter impounded. However, Gamez said companies do not notify her if the $150 fee was passed down to riders.

“That’s on their business side,” Gamez said. “They don’t have to share their methods with us.”

Neither Bird nor Lime responded to requests to clarify their policies on handing down fees to riders or if riders of impounded scooters received PTS’ $150 fine.

“Lime doesn’t wish to impose excessive fines on students and is continuing to work with the University,” Collin Morgan, Lime general manager fir Austin and San Antonio, told The Daily Texan previously.

Mechanical engineering freshman Alex Bouckley said he often rides Lime scooters and attends home football games but does not consider riding a commercial scooter to the stadium.

“I know it’s not allowed,” Bouckley said. “In the Lime app, (campus) is blocked off for game days.”

Gamez said scooter riders should expect the same level of enforcement at scooter checkpoints this Saturday, only with more Bird and Lime employees.

“They hire what I call ‘canvassers’ to be on campus … to move scooters that are parked inappropriately,” Gamez said. “You will see a larger presence of those type of people on campus on game day, including at the checkpoints.”

Although PTS impounded 39 scooters, Gamez said that number was really good compared to the total amount of scooters in Austin.

“Bird and Lime both have 2,500 scooters operating in the city of Austin,” Gamez said. “So in reality, impounding on 39 scooters is really, really good in comparison to those numbers.”

Marketing junior Morgan Lama has not ridden a Lime or Bird scooter before, but is skeptical about the effectiveness of PTS’ designated scooter dropoff zones on game day.

“Since the whole allure of it is to ride your scooter and to stop it wherever, I don’t know how well that’s going to go with people,” Lama said. “‘Cause, honestly, if I was riding one and I could park it whenever, I wouldn’t use the (parking) spot.”