Over the last year dockless scooters have been a major mode of transportation in Austin especially for students or those that live downtown and now for SXSW 2019. For the very first time South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and spring festival attendees will have the opportunity to utilize the dockless scooters and bikes but there are limits to where people can ride them. According to the city’s Mobility Committee, there are 7 licensed dockless scooter operators that include Bird, Lime, Lyft, and Jump (Uber), Spin, and student-oriented VeoRide.
Earlier this week the City of Austin announced their city plans for using these devices during spring festival season that takes place March 8-17, 2019. To deal with the influx of people visiting Austin City leaders are encouraging festival-goers to take modes of transportation besides cars to curb the expected levels of traffic. The City of Austin published the above map/ guide to getting to and around the city of Austin during the festival. The City of Austin map includes walking, biking, scooting, taking transit or sharing a ride options.
In the past SXSW festivals have had dedicated and barricaded pedestrian-only zones where bikers are asked to dismount and walk their bikes in. Given the dockless scooter craze in Austin those zones will have an added requirement: no electric scooters. The pedestrian-only zones will be located along Sixth Street, Red River Street and Rainey Street primarily.
To enforce the new guidelines for dockless bikes and scooters, Austin Police officers on patrol at the festival have been advised to look out for people violating the scooter rules. Per KXAN, an APD officer and a marked APD car will be at each barrier with a road closure. But primarily, those officers will be reminding scooter riders of what’s allowed
Since festival season brings visitors from out of town the City of Austin is aware out of town may have no idea about these rules. To help with that issue the Austin Transportation Department plans to pass out information about dockless rules at the Austin Convention Center and at hotels downtown.
For the official guidelines for transportation in Austin during spring festival season please visit: http://www.austintexas.gov/springfestatx. For more information about SXSW please visit: www.SXSW.com.
Source: City of Austin, KXAN, SXSW