Cartoon by Luis Ortiz ® Cartoonist |
With the announcement of the University choosing to partner with an electric scooter company to bring electric scooters to campus, comes warranted apprehension, concerns and excitement from the student body.
A concern that many students have out the gate is the extremely valid question of who is going to pay for them.
In this time when University money is tight, and students living off campus are already questioning paying activity fees for a campus they do not visit on a regular basis, it would be quite a hard sell to add to the price tag.
That concern can be quickly overlooked, as the company that the University is partnering with will charge per ride, rather than add it to the cost of attending school here.
Another main concern plaguing the plan for the new transportation method on campus is where will the scooters stay while they are not in use. In comparison to a big city like Minneapolis where the electric scooters are ridden and left wherever around the town, the campus scooters will have to be ridden between charging stations.
This means for people living off campus, the scooters will add little to no extra value to the commute to campus. While they may give those living on campus a smoother and quicker ride to campus, the problem of commuting from off campus housing is still left unsolved.
The ride from the “Free Lot” could be considered a solution for these commuters, however, there would have to be a significant number of scooters at the ready on a daily basis.
One more concern to consider is that of the weather. Most of our school months are riddled with snow and freezing cold weather. This will no doubt affect the willingness of students to use the not-so-weather resistant rides. Especially when adding the potential for icy sidewalks and roads.
While these concerns should be thought about and questioned, there is little doubt that the scooters will be a welcome addition to campus life. They will undoubtedly be an extremely fun way to zoom across campus, whether it’s to visit a friend in Julia Sears or grab a bite from the Dining Center.
When you add into the mix that these scooters are promised to come at no extra cost to students’ tuition, there should be no skepticism for the allowance of them on our campus.