Razor Releases New Scooter Model as San Antonio Gears Up for E-Bikes

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Razor EcoSmart scooters come equipped with seats and baskets for extra storage.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Razor EcoSmart scooters are equipped with seats and baskets for storage.

In a year that saw e-scooters take over the city – eventually multiplying to more than 8,000 vehicles – seated e-scooters have arrived, and about 2,000 dockless bicycles are set to enter the fray.

Razor USA quietly rolled out new scooters in recent days with a cushioned seat and front-mounted basket.

Meanwhile, Uber’s micro-mobility arm Jump is planning to launch 2,000 e-bikes this month, the City of San Antonio confirmed. On top of that, Jump is applying to bring 2,000 scooters to the city.

“People probably have more experience riding bikes than scooters,” said John Jacks, who heads the City’s Center City Development and Operations department. “To use an old cliché, it’s just like riding a bike. … That may increase opportunities for some that would be hesitant to try a scooter.”

Jacks added the new Razor scooter model provides an additional option for scooter-averse riders because it’s similar to a bike.

“We’ll see if they prove to be more popular,” he said.

Dubbed the EcoSmart scooter, Razor’s new scooter-share model can be found via the app. Similar to the other scooters available in San Antonio’s dockless market, its top speed is 15 mph. The larger-framed vehicles are outfitted with bigger wheels than their stand-up counterparts in a bid to offer dockless vehicle riders a safer option for commuting to work or other long-distance trips.

“Razor’s dockless EcoSmart scooter was built with the rider’s comfort in mind,” said Danny Simon, chief operating officer for Razor USA, in a blog post. “With the option of standing or sitting and a front-mounted basket, the EcoSmart scooter is great for all adult riders, especially on those longer rides or when you are running errands.”

But many cities, including San Antonio, have grappled with scooter-related safety issues.

About 52 scooter-related injuries have been documented in San Antonio since early October. These include only incidents to which emergency responders have been called.

The City of Austin recorded a total of 37 EMS calls and 68 scooter injuries through syndromic surveillance conducted at area hospitals from September to November. Those calls and injuries are the focus of a forthcoming Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, the agency’s seminal look at dockless vehicle-involved injuries. The City of Austin has authorized 11,851 dockless scooters and bikes as of Thursday.

A City of San Antonio spokeswoman said the City will review the CDC study when it is released and monitor other cities’ approaches to scooter safety.

For now, its efforts to improve safety entail education. The City has launched a “Scoot Safely” public service announcement campaign to advocate for such practices as wearing a helmet and riding at a safe distance from pedestrians on sidewalks. After trip data collected during the pilot period has been analyzed, the City may recommend longer-term infrastructural improvements, such as new bike lanes and enhancing current lanes, Jacks said.

If and when Jump launches in San Antonio, the City’s dockless vehicle fleet would eclipse Austin’s total. With e-scooter company Spin’s impending arrival, the total number of operators would climb to six – including Bird, Lime, Razor, and Blue Duck – and its total fleet would rise to about 12,600 vehicles, according to data provided by the City.

The City will collect about $129,000 in permit and application fees from the vendors, who pay $500 to apply for a permit and $10 for every vehicle they expect to operate. With the funding, the City will hire four temporary parking officers whose primary purpose will be to correct parking violations and other compliance issues, Jacks said.

That includes beefing up enforcement in and around the River Walk and other restricted areas, he said.

As the number of dockless vehicles operating in San Antonio swells, there is still no indication of whether the City is inclined to cap the number of e-scooters and e-bikes it permits, according to Jacks.

“Right now it’s too early to say,” he said. “But that’s one of the reasons we did a pilot program.”

The City will review and make any needed amendments to its regulatory framework for dockless vehicles after the pilot program ends in May.

7 thoughts on “Razor Releases New Scooter Model as San Antonio Gears Up for E-Bikes

  1. This has been projected to occur. The evolution of utility based urban transportation will continue for the next decade. I project a two-person micro EV and even a cargo loader based EV to eventually fill the streets within the next ten years. All of which will render the car almost obsolete in downtown commuting. The future is looking bright!

  2. Great more eyesores in the area. I can’t even walk down a sidewalk downtown without stepping over one of these scooters. Last night there were several thrown around, a couple handles in the street, cars caught in traffic having to go around these eyesores. I hope the city figures something out.

  3. I have a friend in a wheelchair
    Please note (EVERYONE) the blockage of side walks and even handicap ramps. When you see a cluster, obviously set out by the company, envision being in a wheelchair. Could you get through?
    I love the concept! I drive an electric car. Perhaps we have gone a little overboard?

  4. I loved riding the scooters when I was working downtown. This was in the few months that only one scooter company was in town.
    I think one company was enough, two was okay but three or more is just way too much. They look awful lined up all over the city! Tumbled over, blocking sidewalks and vehicles, is a nuisance and safety issue.
    Watching first time users try to get started is rather frightening. Plus you need to be hyper alert when driving as the scooter riders seem to disregard traffic laws.
    We need to reduce the number of vehicles rather than increase. I think there is enough data to show the number of scooters that are actually used on a daily basis and where. The city should limit the # of scooters to actual usage plus 10%, for example. With allotted increases for special events.
    They should also have a scooter only day downtown once a month.

  5. In case of accidents causing substantial injury (or death) who pays the medical or funeral expenses? And who gets punished for causing the accident? Perhaps the city and the scooter companies have worked it out but is it common knowledge by the public?

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