Cover photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Students excited to ride Dayton’s new Spin scooters around campus will have to find a new option to get to class on time.
A press release from the University of Dayton on Aug. 28 stated that the university has opted to become a “no-ride zone” following the Spin scooter fad. Due to the campus being a zone of increased pedestrian traffic, there is an imposed risk to having the electric scooters within campus.
The San Francisco-based company, Spin, arrived in Dayton toting 100 new electric scooters in August, the Dayton Daily News reported. The scooters are meant to be used as a new form of quick and affordable transportation. The scooters are utilized on other campuses, including Virginia Tech, and larger cities such as Ann Arbor, MI.
“The whole idea is to provide another option for first-mile, last-mile (trips). That sort of gap that’s too far to walk, you may not want to catch a cab or catch a ride-share, and you’re looking for a way to get from point A to point B,” said Will Burns, director of government partnerships for East Coast Spin scooters.
In an effort to create a safer use of these electric scooters, Spin scooters are barred from being operated on sidewalks downtown and in neighborhoods, mainly being treated like bikes. They are limited to 15 mph and are required to have lighting to ensure public safety.
Because UD has barred these scooters, there have been “no-ride” zones created. The “no-ride” zones include main campus, River campus, North and South student neighborhoods, campus West (between Brown Street and the river) and the UD Arena.
“Ultimately the university is seen as a pedestrian campus,” said Robin Oldfield, the assistant vice president for compliance, internal audit and chief risk officer.
When university officials reached out to peer institutions that allowed Spin scooters and discussed the challenges, they found that the vacant scooters often posed as an inconvenience as well as a possible threat.
“The business model to check out the scooters by the minute and then to leave them on the sidewalk for someone else to pick up brought blockages to entrances,” Oldfield said.
With such issues and the possible threat to pedestrians, a small committee at UD came to the decision to bar the use of Spin scooters on campus grounds.
Students can find other accessible and affordable forms of transportation through Link bikes, Flyer RTA, Zip Cars and much more, Oldfield suggested. Student Government encouraged feedback if students have any questions or concerns.
If you have any questions regarding the scooter ban or other forms of transportation, reach out to the writer, Shayleigh Frank, at email@example.com.
An earlier version of this article misstated Robin Oldfield’s position. It was corrected at 7 p.m. on 9/21.