The Oakland Post

Opinion: A new way to move on campus

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Opinion: A new way to move on campus

courtesy of The Free Press

courtesy of The Free Press

courtesy of The Free Press

Taylor Crumley, Staff Reporter

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Another kid on a skateboard zooms past you on the sidewalk on your way to class, and you flinch and nearly drop your phone, but pretend it didn’t faze you at all. You look around to make sure no one saw your brief moment of weakness. But wait — that isn’t a skateboard. Is that… a scooter?

The California-created BIRD scooters have been rapidly expanding their territory across America to over 100 cities and are now beginning to look at universities as opportunities for expansion of the new travel trend.

The company has seen great growth since launching a little over a year ago. The University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University all have access to BIRD scooters on their campuses. Could Oakland University be up next?

The scooters have many benefits to students on college campuses. For example, the scooter can go up to 15 miles per hour, which can help students be on time to class.

The scooters are also fairly inexpensive. They cost $1 to start and 15 cents to drive per minute, which is paid through the free iOS or Android app on a smartphone.

Students who live on campus could benefit from these scooters considering the long distances from residence halls to class buildings. Athletes on campus may also find these scooters to be of great use — for many of them getting to ride home instead of walking after tiresome workouts would be great.

BIRD scooters can improve the lives of commuter students as well. With congested and outlying parking at OU, once you get a spot, you want to keep it. BIRD scooters can help students from giving up their parking spot when they want to go across the street to grab something to eat.

There is always that day you get to school late, can’t find any close parking and end up having to park a 15-minute walk away from your class when you only have about five minutes to get there. These situations are where BIRD scooters would come in handy, reducing student stress and getting them to class on time.

In addition to using them for getting to and from in a jiffy, these scooters have the potential to bring a new fun activity to students on campus. OU, being a commuter school, struggles to get more students to have fun on campus. BIRD scooters could be a game-changer in getting students engaged with the university, staying on campus longer and going to more events on campus.

John Stoll, an OU alumni and current professor, described bringing BIRD scooters to campus as a “no-brainer.”

These scooters are quick and easy to pay, ride and drop off for the next person to use. However, OU would have to take action in making new safety rules for the scooters on campus and OUPD would have to monitor these scooters and their riders.

Overall, BIRD scooters could prove to be functional as transportation as well as being a fun social activity for students. Giving these a shot on OU’s campus could change student life for the better, something OU has been working toward for a long time.

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