The City of Lubbock has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of ride-share scooters showing up on the streets for the public to use.
“There are more than 350 Bird scooters in town, and it started with 100. They only bring more in if there is a lot of use, and there is quite a bit of use,” Mayor Dan Pope said.
The first ride-share scooter company to hit the streets of Lubbock was the company Bird, but a new city ordinance could change their ability to be here in town.
“We learned watching other cities around the state and around the country that a free-for-all with these companies is not the best approach,” Mayor Pope said. “We’ve been working with our ordinance and with Texas Tech since we believe the biggest users are college students.”
According to the ordinance, ride-share scooter companies need to have a connection with a higher education institution, such as Texas Tech or Lubbock Christian, in order to be allowed in the city.
Another ride share service called Lime had previously been in contact with Tech about putting their scooters on campus, but it had been waiting on an agreement with the university before launching.
“Tech is close to awarding a vendor, and let’s assume it’s Lime, then they would get their agreement with Lime and we would get ours. It would be a seamless transition. You would see it descend on the town like Bird scooters did,” Pope said.
Students on campus said they really enjoy having the scooters available.
“As long as we get something here, it doesn’t have to be Bird. It can be something else. Any type of scooter company would be awesome, because we’ve really been enjoying it,” Quillin Mckenney, a sophomore at Tech, said.
Below is the full statement from the Bird Scooters company:
“Lubbock and Bird have a shared vision of a community with fewer cars, less traffic, and reduced carbon emissions. In our time here, we have been inspired by how willing the community is to trade short car trips for Bird rides. We’ve been having productive conversations with local leaders, and we look forward to continuing to work with Lubbock’s leadership to build a framework that supports affordable and accessible transportation options for students, faculty, and everyone in the community.”