Scooters returning to OSU campus
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Electric scooters will return to the Oklahoma State University-Stillwater campus Jan. 22. Three major changes will be involved with their return: mandatory parking sites, lower costs and a company new to Stillwater.
Spin — a Ford Motor Co. subsidiary based in San Francisco — was chosen as the university’s sole dockless scooter provider from among eight competing companies.
“We chose Spin in part because they offered the best rates for the students and employees,” said Steve Spradling, OSU’s director of parking and transportation services. “They also have a system in place to enforce parking correctly and riding correctly through feedback in their app.”
Students, faculty and staff with an okstate.edu email address are charged a $.50 unlock fee and $.15 per minute. Standard rates are a $1 unlock fee and $.15 per minute. Customers must have a smartphone and the Spin app to use the service.
OSU plans to begin with 200 scooters, which will be operational between 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily via the Spin app. OSU is in the process of creating about 50 marked parking areas.
“We would like rider recommendations if more parking areas are needed,” Spradling said. “We will add them if deemed safe and appropriate. It is up to the riders to make this program successful. Everyone needs to park the scooters in designated spots when on campus. If not parked properly they jeopardize the sustainability of the program and the scooters will be banned.”
Bird and Lime scooters were banned on campus in mid-October — nearly two months after the first scooters arrived without warning — because they created safety issues by blocking ADA paths and access to buildings.
The Spin app requires first-time riders to scan a driver’s license to verify they are 18 or older. Customers should read Spins user agreement, which states it could charge them up to $1,300 after 48 hours for a scooter not parked within the service zone.
The scooters are capable of traveling about 15 mph but geofencing technology will limit them to 10 mph in core campus areas. Front and rear lights are always on when the scooter is operating.
Scooters are 45 inches tall, 40 inches long and feature puncture-proof airless tires. The handlebars are equipped with a speedometer, throttle and brake. The rear tire also has a stomp-style brake.
Spin has contracts with cities and universities throughout the country.