AU campus begins discussions of adding scooters on campus

AU looks to add scooters to the lineup of additions on campus.

Kieran Tracy

AU looks to add scooters to the lineup of additions on campus.

Across college campuses in the United States, electric scooters have become a staple form of transportation for students going from class to class or off campus. Due to the campus beautification project past summer, accessibility improvements across Ashland University have made electric scooters a potential addition to campus.

The community and students of AU have voiced interest throughout the years about adding the transportation-friendly scooters to campus.
“We have been approached as a university—as has the city—a number of times about scooters over the years. Now that the campus is more accessible, this may be the time to consider it,” said Dr. Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University..

Safety concerns are one of the factors that AU has considered when launching the idea. Uneven sidewalks and areas only accessible by a staircase were a major hurdle to the scooter program, and now that accessibility has been heavily increased this past summer, the scooters will now have a pathway to travel across campus.

“We are still in the early stages of discussion, but our primary concerns are about safety, accessibility, and making sure there is sufficient demand from students,” said Campo.

He additionally pointed out that students without cars would have interest in this because it now allows them to get across campus quickly, or even go off campus. Students would be able to travel into the downtown area of Ashland to increase the things they could do.

One student without a car on campus did not express interest in using the potential new transportation,

“Even though I don’t have a car, I can always get a ride from a friend that has a car on campus,” said sophomore Stephen Wynne.

The other portion of students that have cars here and live on campus, would have to be financially incentivized to use the scooters.

“I have a car here and I wouldn’t use a scooter if I had to pay money, unless the rates were significantly lower than gas to get to nearby places,” said sophomore Brenden Wright.

The company providing the scooters would include an app that students would download on their smartphone devices to pay for each ride. In addition, electric scooter providers include a minimum fee per ride, then an added distance fee. The minimum fee varies depending on who the provider of the electric scooters is, typically ranging from $3-$5.

The combined fees to ride a scooter would be billed to the form of payment a rider enters into the company’s app, such as a PayPal account or a credit card. Swipes on a student’s eagle card would not be available for use.

If the AU administration decides to go further and the city approves it, the university will launch a pilot program to gauge student interest in the electric scooters before purchasing enough for the whole university.