Electric scooters enter the Akron Campus
Akron, Ohio - Students from Akron and the University of Akron will soon have a new way to get around.
Both the university and the city have partnerships with Spin.Spin, a SAN Francisco-based company, offers electric scooter rentals through an app.The company is one of four electric scooter services in Cleveland.
Spin scooters will debut on the UA campus on August 24 and are expected to expand citywide in early fall after the first phase of the downtown Main Street project is completed.
Jared Coleman, UA's director of parking and transportation services, told Cleveland.com that they will first offer 100 scooters.Cleveland.com.Users download the Spin app, which displays a map of gpS-enabled scooters, and pay $1 to rent a scooter, plus $.31 per minute.
UA has designated about 19 "deployment points" or preferred parking Spaces for the scooters.Spin employees cover the area every night to recharge the scooter and put it back in its preferred position.
"One of the great things about this program is that you don't have to leave them there.You can really leave them anywhere."Coleman said."However, if you do park them in one of your preferred parking locations, you will receive a discount of [$0.25] on your next ride."
The university began working with Spin after learning that Akron officials were interested in bringing scooters to the city, Mr. Coleman said.UA has entered into a one-year agreement with Spin in which the university pays no fees or earns any revenue.
Spin scooters on campus have other restrictions, including a top speed of 8 MPH instead of 15 miles per hour on the university's central campus and in the university common area.
"It's another option for students," said Mr. Coleman, whose department oversees parking and deck and bus services."Some students may be in a crunch at a certain time of day, where they only have 10 or 15 minutes to get from one class to another across the campus...I can also see students using these for fun - they are really fun.It's a great choice for students to come from our campus to the downtown area."
The city has reached an agreement with Spin until October 31, 2021, said Jason Segedy, akron's director of planning and urban development.Like UA, the city has no costs or revenue, but Spin will provide the city with data on areas where riders use scooters for pedestrian planning.
"We see them as another form of transportation that complements and enhances the way people travel today, whether it's by car, bus, bicycle or their two feet," Segedy said.
Sejidi says he hopes they will be most useful in urban areas and in and around universities.
"If you picture our city center, it's like a narrow road.Luigi's in the north is about a 30-minute walk from Canal Square.Similarly, the easternmost end of the campus is about a 25 - to 30-minute walk from downtown.And I think it's really a good place for them because you can pedal a scooter in five to 10 minutes.For most people, it's quite a long way, but for most people, it's an undesirable distance to drive, because it's not that far.
Skateboarders will have to obey traffic laws just like they ride bicycles, Sejidi said.City officials did not anticipate any safety issues, but there could be a learning curve as drivers get used to seeing people "pedaling" in the city's bike lanes.
"As long as there are new ways to get around, scooter users and drivers need to make some adjustments," Segedy says."But in general, they're really not as exotic as I think sometimes people think."