Chances are that if you frequent Downtown Cincinnati you’ve seen these new scooters, either on every corner or as groups of kids travel through the streets.
The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University have already partnered with these companies to allow them to operate on their school grounds. After Lime stopped in for a demo day by the Student Union last fall, the trend seems like it may hit NKU next—but it’s not that simple.
The reason these other schools have taken initiative to partnering with these scooter companies is due to the pure mobility of the scooters themselves. After you sign-up you’re allowed to drop it off on any curb to your convenience. Once students get ahold of them, there’s really not much that can be done to keep them off campus. It’s been delayed for us at NKU is because these companies haven’t successfully gotten this eco-friendly transportation in the Northern Kentucky area yet.
“We were approached by Lime first, actually. Then, Bird and then the Gotcha Company to bring their scooters here,” said NKU’s Director of Business Operations Andy Meeks.
The Gotcha Group currently partners with NKU to give students access to bikes around campus after downloading their “Gotcha – Ride On” app, very similar to how the scooters downtown are used.
“It’s part of our job to provide the services students would enjoy…and this clearly falls into that category, so I wouldn’t dismiss bringing scooters to NKU,” Meeks said.
Along with the University Police, Andy Meeks is meeting with campus lawyers and Student Affairs, to hash out the concerns with safety and liability of these scooters hitting the streets. Meeks said there’s no doubt students would enjoy the scooters, but he and campus police are worried the wave of new transportation will cause accidents without the proper rules in place beforehand.
Lieutenant Will Love, of the NKU police department, would just stress to students to know the rules in place before they decide to ride, but doesn’t think this addition to our campus will cause extra headaches.
“Sure there will be incidents but not from students running into each other; it will just be like having skateboards on campus, some might fall off but that’ll be the worst of it,” Love said.
As students are filing into the parking lots and the recent bitter cold, students are in need of a fast, easy way to get around campus.
Junior Aniya Jones, an international business major, said she was looking forward to the scooters coming to NKU and would definitely use them, but is wary of potential headaches.
“I’m just worried having knocked over scooters all over campus wouldn’t look great. There needs to be designated areas, we want to keep our university clean,” Jones said.
As it stands, the Gotcha Group seems to be the best partner for scooters, due to their already existing relationship with NKU. Gotcha will ensure that the e-scooters will be exclusively accessed by students, as well as having on-site maintenance instead of freelance chargers.
Gotcha is the only company that will let NKU paint them black and gold, according to Meeks. Campus officials have a meeting with the company soon.