According to a press release issued by the city Sept. 21, the program has a two-step process that began with the deployment of 150 scooters to the Texas State University campus Sept. 23.
“Collaboration with key city and university officials has been the driving force behind this partnership. It has allowed us to really work together to customize a pilot program that is focused on safety,” said Alex April, Spin’s senior manager of government partnerships, in the release. “This includes employing a local workforce to ensure the implementation of industry-leading COVID-19 safety protocols.”
An additional 50 scooters will be deployed in specific areas of the city beginning Sept. 30.
Scooters will be required to park in designated zones to end the ride without provoking additional fees, and the San Marcos Main Street Program will assist downtown businesses with the introduction of the pilot program, the press release said.
The program's intent was to address public transportation limits resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the departure of Veo-Ride bicycles from the city in August, according to the city.
After a ban was passed in May, commercial scooter rentals were outlawed within city limits, but the ordinance provides exceptions for programs such as this, and it is the only one under consideration for the time being, according to a city spokesperson
If Spin's pilot program is deemed a success and the city decides to expand scooter deployments, a proposal process would follow that would be open to other companies, the spokesperson said.
“The scooter pilot program offers the opportunity to evaluate the feasibility of motor-assisted scooter use in the San Marcos community,” City Manager Bert Lumbreras said in the city's press release. “The pilot program will be measured, analyzed, and evaluated from the public safety and infrastructure limitation aspect as was planned through the recent Council adopted ordinance.”
To use the scooters, riders must download the Spin app to register. A free helmet is available to riders who complete an online safety quiz, but they will have to pay for shipping.
Riders were asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing while operating Spin scooters, and the company's safety and disinfecting protocols can be viewed online.