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One and done: Zagster scoots out of ABQ

Zagster’s e-scooters will no longer be available in Albuquerque. (Jessica Dyer/Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As Albuquerque emerges from a COVID-19 shutdown, its transportation landscape will look a little different.

Zagster, the first and only company to launch an e-scooter program in New Mexico’s largest city, has decided to cease the operations, according to a city spokeswoman.

The Boston-based company had suspended Albuquerque service in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, during which its one-year pilot program with the city had ended. Zagster told the city that it did not plan to stay in the market.

“We had a discussion with Zagster (in April) in which they told us that Spin was not coming back to Albuquerque,” city Planning Department spokeswoman Maia Rodriguez said. “Prior to that we were under the impression that the suspension was temporary.”

Zagster has also ended its Albuquerque area bike-share program, the Rio Metro Transit District announced this week. It has also discontinued bike-share programs in many other communities throughout the U.S.

Multiple Journal attempts to reach a Zagster representative were unsuccessful.

No other vendors have city approval to rent e-scooters in Albuquerque, though Rodriguez said the city is interested in new partnerships.

“We were pleased with what we saw of the program and thought it was a success,” she said in an email.

Zagster launched its Albuquerque service in May of 2019 with 250 Spin-branded, orange vehicles. That fleet generated more than 20,000 trips in the first month.

The company expanded its fleet to 750, placing vehicles not only in Downtown and Nob Hill but also areas like Uptown and the Northeast Heights.

Ridership fell after last summer, and the company shrunk its fleet in the winter. But it was planning to grow again when the pandemic hit.

“The Albuquerque fleet will be scaled up over the next two months as we come out of the winter riding season,” the company wrote in its January ridership report to the city.

 

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