On Friday, Auburn University announced it will be partnering with electric scooter and bicycle company Spin to provide students, faculty, employees and visitors with additional on-campus transportation options beginning Jan. 16, 2023.
According to the university, the agreement with Spin will initially run for at least three years, and a fleet of 100 e-bikes and 100 e-scooters will launch on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They will be available from 5 a.m. until midnight every day, and specific locations will be designated for parking the devices on campus.
"The campus footprint of Auburn University offers an excellent use case for micromobility," Derek Stehlin, manager for Campus and Government Partnerships at Spin, said. "We're thrilled about the opportunity to bring a safe, equitable and sustainable transportation solution to the campus community in partnership with the university."
E-scooters and e-bikes will cost $1 to unlock plus $0.30 a minute to use. Another pricing option offers a monthly fee of $5.99 to avoid the $1 unlock fee; however, users will still be required to pay $0.30 per minute of use. A 24-hour Spin pass will also be available for $14.99 per day.
The top speed of Spin e-bikes will be 20 mph, while the top speed of Spin e-scooters will be 15 mph. Throughout Auburn's campus, e-bikes and e-scooters will be deployed at designated locations and will be accessible through the Spin app.
“We are very excited to announce this partnership with Spin,” Arishna Lastinger, Auburn’s associate director of Parking Services, said. “During the last couple of years, we have been busy trying to find and develop a micromobility program that would best serve our campus. This program with Spin will not only include electronic assist bicycles, but it will also come with electronic scooters. Due to the nature of these new devices, we have also worked diligently to ensure that this new program is safe and beneficial to our students as well as our faculty and staff.”
In addition to being eco-friendly, these new modes of transportation incorporate safety features such as "no ride zones" and "slow ride zones" throughout campus. In the Spin mobile app, users can view the zones as they book and pay for the e-bike or e-scooter, and users can slow or redirect the e-bike or e-scooter in "no ride" or "slow ride" zones.
“SGA is thrilled to partner with Spin to bring e-bikes and e-scooter rentals to our campus,” John David Matthews, executive vice president of initiatives for Auburn’s Student Government Association, said. “This is something that our students have consistently expressed interest in having on our campus. This addition to our campus is a tangible reminder of how Auburn strives to offer the best student experience in the country.”
Founded in January 2017 and headquartered in San Francisco, Spin is an international micromobility company that operates shared e-scooter and e-bike programs in partnership with universities and cities across North America and Europe.
According to its website, Spin “has been recognized for launching the first stationless mobility program in the United States and was instrumental in crafting the world’s first mobility permit system.”
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Daniel Schmidt, senior in journalism, is the assistant news editor for the Auburn Plainsman.