View from the Scooter: Uber Brings ‘Ride Pass’ to Dallas, SMU Tests Scooters on Campus

You'll also find doctors urging scooter safety, and 'Birdeo + Limet,' a classic tale of romance, rivalry, and, yes, scooters.

Whether you’re a bootstrapping entrepreneur or just a person with a penchant for pinching pennies, rideshare surge fare is always an unwelcome expense.

In October 2018, Uber announced its Ride Pass program, which lets users who pay a monthly fee bypass surge fare pricing, opting instead for Uber’s flat rate, no matter the location or time of day.

That service, Uber announced Tuesday, is now available in Dallas and 19 additional cities. The service’s price protection also applies to UberX and UberPool trips.

Here’s how it works: Riders in qualifying cities—New York City, Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orange County, Baltimore-Maryland, New Orleans, Nashville, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Memphis—need only open their Uber app, navigate to the menu page and select “Ride Pass.”

The rider, depending on the city he or she calls home, then pays either $14.99 or $24.99 per month to qualify for the service.

According to Uber’s website, riders in Dallas who opt in to the Ride Pass program must pay the $24.99 per month. Luckily, the subscription not only protects users from surge pricing, but it also providers subscribers with up to 30 minutes of free use each day on Uber’s JUMP scooters and bicycles.

Uber says subscribers who enjoy the service won’t even have to worry about making a monthly payment. The app offers an auto-renewal service that takes the guesswork out of Uber.

READ NEXT Lyft Launches its Scooters on the Streets of Dallas 

Scooting at school

Southern Methodist University announced this week it will conditionally permit e-scooters on its campus, ParkCitiesPeople reports

The dockless electric scooters had been banned from the SMU campus, as well as in the Park Cities, until Tuesday. While they still aren’t permitted in the park cities, University Park has provisionally allowed low-speed scooters on streets and sidewalks adjacent to SMU.

“I think it’ll be more convenient to get around campus,” Ian Perkins-Smith, an SMU student, told Park Cities People. As a commuter, he says “parking is a little bit of a mental hassle before it is a physical hassle. Sometimes I just stack events and it’s a crazy schedule and I’ve used these scooters to get to these events quickly and it just makes everything so much easier.”

On-campus scooters are banned by geofencing and will not go faster than 10 miles per hour while on campus. Violators who ride scooters outside these zones are subject to a $136 municipal fine from University Park Police, SMU told students in an email.

A map of permitted scooter zones can be found on SMU’s website.

Safety first

Dallas-based American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) banded together last month to encourage public safety when it comes to the use of e-scooters.

A new campaign, delivered in the form of a public service announcement, offers riders a list of common sense tips for safety. These include: Wear a helmet, don’t speed, follow the rules of the road, don’t drink and scoot, watch for road hazards, and stay alert for pedestrians and other obstructions.

According to a JAMA Network Open study, riders who found themselves in Southern California emergency rooms last year were suffering from injuries like fractures (31.7 percent), head injury (40.2 percent), bruises or cuts (27.7 percent). Only 4 percent of those with documented injuries had been wearing a helmet while riding. 

Transport apps integrate scooter services

Mobile connectivity has long been bringing people closer online. It’s now working to get people together faster—with the use of integrated apps like Bird, DART GoPass, and Google Maps.

Last month, DART announced its GoPass app had become an all-in-one tool to help commuters get around town. The app provides access to DART’s trains and busses, the Trinity Railway Express, Trinity Metro, and the Denton County Transportation Authority. It also gave residents in Rowlett, Inland Port, and Rylie/Kleberg access to Dart’s on-demand shuttle service, GoLink.

Taking things a step further, DART partnered with Bird, an on-demand e-scooter company. Users of the GoPass app can now use the GoPass app to find a nearby scooter.

Moreover, last week Google Maps and Lime teamed up to give users another method for locating scooters, ebikes, and pedal bikes. 

Through the partnership, residents in Dallas—and in 79 other global cities—can now find a Lime scooter on his or her Google Maps app. In addition, he or she can use the app to estimate how much a ride might cost and how long it will take to reach a destination via scooter, Google Maps product manager Vishal Dutta wrote on Google’s blog.

Scooter cinema

Star crossed lovers—it’s a tale as old as time. Well, kinda.

Comedy performer Jonathan Motney is turning the age-old story trope on its head with a fresh take on a classic—this time called Birdeo + Limet.

Dallas Observer reports the short comedy film reimagines the tale of Romeo and Juliet, placing the teenage romantics in rival scooter gangs battling it out in the streets of Deep Ellum.

A trailer for Birdeo + Limet is now available to watch on Facebook.

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