Starting in fall of 2018, students, faculty and staff at the University of Toledo will be able to rent electric scooters to drive on campus.
The fun, eco-friendly method of transportation was made possible through a partnership with Lime, an electric scooter sharing company.
To start, 125 battery-powered scooters will be stationed at popular spots throughout the university’s main campus. Those who want to use a scooter can locate, unlock and lock them through the free Lime app.
UT plans to double the amount of scooters, depending on demand.
Lime charges $1 to unlock the scooters and 15 cents per minute of use.
Every evening, Lime will collect all of the scooters, charge them fully and return them to their original spots for the next day.
The 250-watt scooters can reach speeds of 14.8 miles per hour. They have many safety features, a maximum range of 37 miles, and can only be ridden on campus.
“This pioneering program offers an innovative way to more easily move around campus,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said in a statement. “It builds on what we started with our Rocket Wheels bike sharing program. Only in this case, you need to download an app to your smartphone and pay for each ride.”
Rocket Wheels was introduced in 2015 as a substitute, eco-friendly method of on-campus transportation.
“From July 2017 through June 2018, 4,799 bikes were checked out by faculty, staff and students,” said Christine Billau, UT spokesperson.
“The previous year was 4,670. With the addition of the electric scooter sharing program this fall semester, UT is proud to expand alternative, convenient options for traveling around campus to foster a greener campus.”
President Gaber was inspired to bring electric scooters to UT after visiting Washington, D. C., and a college campus in California, said Billau.
“She believes the electric scooter sharing program will enhance the campus experience and vitality for UT students, faculty and staff,” Billau continued.
Financially, implementing the scooters was an easy choice for UT.
“Because Lime assumes all responsibility for the scooters and their maintenance, the new program will not cost the University anything,” Larry Kelley, UT executive vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer, said in a statement.
“Along with our partnership with TARTA [Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority], this scooter sharing program is yet another example of how UT is striving to provide an exceptional experience for our students.”
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Jackson Schroeder is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Jackson has covered a wide range of topics, including sustainability, technology, sports, culture, travel, and music. He plays bass and guitar, and enjoys playing and listening to live music in his free time.