Electric scooters are being pitched as a possible form of transportation by student government at BGSU.
Undergraduate Student Government Sen. Chase Williams said USG wants to see scooters as an extra mode of transportation for students. If there are students who are running late for class or have classes far away from their current location, they could use the scooters to get there quicker.
Williams mentioned the advantages of having these motorized scooters on campus are mainly in the transportation department. BGSU shuttles can keep students waiting at the Centrex and the other designated bus stops for various times, so the scooters could be a better type of transportation versus the usual bus, which has its designated pathways.
USG Sen. Trevor Hensley said one of the main concerns about the proposed scooters is safety, with the risks of riders crashing into other riders, other objects or pedestrians. Also, there will be a certain number of months before it gets too cold, too rainy or too icy to ride the scooters safely.
The electric scooters, which have been used at other universities like Ohio State University, are dockless, Williams said. Whenever someone was to stop riding, another person can pick them up. If scooters came to BGSU they could go on the bike racks, considering the plan is to put them in specific areas that are most convenient for the students of BGSU.
“When you park one there, you save a dollar on your ride if you park the scooters in the parking spots, so its incentive that you put them in their designated spot,” Hensley said.
He points out that campus buses and apartment shuttles aren’t accessible on the weekends, making use times limited. Plus, cars and buses cannot go on sidewalks, so their paths are linear as far as going on campus. The electric scooters would have easy access to on-campus buildings that are not wrapped by roads, in the middle of campus or at locations that aren’t reachable by campus transportation.
Cars are still used by students of BGSU, but Hensley said that students usually park in Lots 12 and 15, and these lots are far away from the heart of campus.
One of the topics being brought up when pitching the idea of electric scooters to the city is whether they would be able to take the scooters off campus. Both Williams and Hensley mentioned USG is going to start proposing the scooters on campus, which is the first step in the process.
“We want to try and get them to be off campus, because that would cut down on the off-campus parking,” Williams said.
USG’s next step is to discuss the proposal. Then the student government will potentially bring electric scooters to BGSU administration and determine where they will be allowed to be used. After that, they want the opinions of the students as to whether they would like them on campus or not.
Hensley said the company USG is in talks with is Spin Scooters, who have experience with universities, along with geofences, no-scooter zones, speed limits and donkey ports. The university can tell Spin where they want them and how many they want.
“One of the biggest attractions for them is that they are very in tuned with actually helping out the university and not just trying to make the most money,” Hensley said.
The university does not have to pay for the scooters, as Williams says the school would make a profit from them. There will be no charges except to students who rent the scooters. The usual rates are $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute. USG will be able to talk to Spin on the kind of rates that the university wants.
To gauge student interest in the scooters, USG conducted a survey on Twitter where out of 234 votes, 55% said yes to them, 29% said no to them and 16% said they ”wouldn’t mind scooters being around.”