A few hundred bright orange Spin scooters were nowhere to be found Tuesday.
Zagster, the fleet management company for Spin motorized scooters, pulled all scooters off the streets from Provo and Orem Tuesday night for required deep maintenance.
The problem? No one told either city it was going to happen, and those with the Spin app looking for a scooter Wednesday were left out of luck.
“Last night was time for routine maintenance,” said Austin Taylor, Provo’s parking and sustainability coordinator. “Models ES-2’s and ES-4’s had to be checked for rust and water damage.”
In an email received Wednesday by Orem, Zagster responded to concern about missing scooters.
“I wanted to inform you that we will not be deploying scooters today and possibly (Thursday) in all cities with SPIN,” said Jesse Rosenberg, senior marketing manager with Zagster. “We were notified late last night that they need to do a ‘Safety Check’ before the winter season starts. The safety check involves looking at rust, any water damage and ensuring that all scooters are in pristine condition.”
Needless to say, the cities were caught off-guard.
“They should have told users earlier or sent notifications,” Taylor said. “They should be back on the street tomorrow.”
Taylor said the scooters are getting a lot of use in Provo with the average ride count per day being about 1,500. That means on average, each of the 500 scooters are getting three trips per day.
“The busiest days are BYU game days,” Taylor said. “There is even a designated parking area for them to keep them out of traffic.”
On Tuesday, 41 scooters were actively being used in Orem, according to city reports.
Zagster has been around for more than a decade and is in 150 markets. Its Utah presence had only been in St. George until Aug. 8 ,when Provo launched its scooter program, and Sept. 19 in Orem. One of the defining aspects that makes Zagster popular is the fleet management program. Provo and Orem each have a maintenance warehouse with an operations manager and 30 employees to make sure the scooters are in the right place, charged and working throughout the day.
According to Taylor, if the scooter is involved in a crash it is pulled out of the fleet. If maintenance sees something wrong they don’t deploy them.
The scooters are expected to be back on the streets of Provo and Orem by Friday.