After returning from winter break in January, students will find a new mode of transportation for riding to class and exploring life on campus in the spring semester.
According to officials from parking services, there will be 200 new scooters available for rental along with three drop-off locations: a concrete pad in the Hayfield; on the corner of Petrie Hall and the Harrison School of Pharmacy; and at the old laundry room on West Thach Avenue. The scooters can be paid for with a monthly or yearly fee or a pay-as-you-go option.
“[Scooters] have been a popular request from students for about a year or so,” said parking operations manager Arishna Lastinger. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to let students try it out to see how they handle them being on campus, how they take care of them and other things of that nature.”
Another reason for the new addition is to make the distance from the parking lots on the outside of campus to the center much more manageable for students, Lastinger explained. The parking lots are towards the outskirts of campus, so if a student needs to drive to campus and get to class, the time it takes would be reduced.
“If you are familiar with the Hayfield or the RO lot, you know that they are towards the outskirts of campus,” Lastinger said. “We’re hoping that [the scooters] will drive students to realize ‘Hey, it’s okay if I can only park in C-lot or RO, because even if I park a little further away, I have an alternate motive of transportation to get to central campus.’”
The scooters will be regulated by the University through a technology that controls the speed of the scooters when they are on campus. Defined geofencing locations will be set on campus property to prevent the possibility of scooters being driven off campus and left somewhere in the City, as they will essentially “die” and will not be drivable upon going outside their programmed area.
Students will need to download an app that will allow for them to enter a code to ride the scooter.
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Students can then ride them anywhere on campus and, when they are finished, drop them off at any of the drop-off locations.
If enough students are supportive of the scooters and incorporate them into their campus life during the spring semester, Parking Operations will add more scooters for use as needed, according to Lastinger.
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