Scooters take Columbus by storm

Campus News, News

What bird has two wheels but no wings? That’s right. A bird scooter.

Columbus has always had plenty of interesting things to do, and with the addition of motorized scooters, the list keeps expanding. These new scooters have taken Columbus by storm and they’re the crazy new fad that no one will stop talking about.

These scooters, which can be found on practically every Columbus sidewalk, cost only $1 to start riding and 15 cents for every additional minute of riding. It’s not too expensive, which is what every college student wants to hear. First-year students Lexi Van Kannel, Payton Ritterbeck, and Kayla Sahli rode the scooters on campus the first night of fall semester and really enjoyed their experience.

“The funniest part was probably trying to figure out how to make the scooters go faster and not running into each other,” said Payton Ritterback. 

But with every new bit of fun comes a bit of regulation.

New rules have caused some stipulations on these scooters which may cause a decrease in usage. Columbus’s Department of Public Service just ruled that participants who intend to use the scooters can no longer use credit cards and can only use cash or prepaid cash cards. This decision goes into effect at the end of September for scooter companies. This may cause fewer people to use the scooters so companies like Bird have more options for prepaid cash. Another regulation of these companies is that the city will only license up to eight companies with up to 500 scooters each. This may cause more competition between scooter companies and cause less of these scooters to be in the city.

There are already regulations that the Columbus police are enforcing. These scooters have to be parked upright and not left in the street for safety reasons. Scooters have been mostly ridden on the sidewalks, but the legality of their use on the street is st

ill unclear. The scooters are still being used in places like the Short North and at Ohio State University.

Bexley’s law prohibits the use of motorized scooters on the road and sidewalk (Ohio Revised Code 4501, 4511.214 and Bexley Codified Ordinance 474.12), but they have ended up on Capital’s campus. 

We do not have a policy in our Handbook since it is such a new technology. We are currently following the practice and regulations of the City of Bexley for electric scooters,” said provost Jody Fournier. Basically, as of right now students can’t ride the scooters until the law is more clear.

Another rule they’re enforcing due to Ohio revised code is that the scooters must have proper brake lights, turn signals, horn, a headlight, and side rearview mirrors. Most scooters don’t have those features at the moment, which is why Bexley and other places in Columbus don’t want them to use. These new regulations are still unclear, but more information should come out closer to the end of the month.

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