Cite as: Aubrey O’Brien, University Approach, in University of South Carolina School of Law, Dockless Mobility: A Look into the Regulation of E-scooters, https://docklessmobility.org/liability-and-insurance/347-2/ (last updated 2019).
This article examines the differences in policy and rationale between two universities with dramatically different policies in regard to E-scooters on campus.
University of Toledo – E-scooter Program
The University of Toledo is undergoing a pilot program to improve student transportation, parking issues and simply give the students another choice for transportation by introducing E-scooters to campus. They have a page on their website under Parking Services dedicated to informing students about the new E-scooters on campus. Since 2018 the University of Toledo has partnered with Lime E-scooter company to offer this service to their students. The University also has implemented a bike share program and seems to be focused on providing alternative methods of transportation to students.
University of Toledo is a public research university in Toledo, Ohio. It was founded in 1872 and has a campus of 20,500 students. Toledo’s population is around 287,208. The University sits just outside of downtown metropolitan area in a more suburban area of Toledo, the Ottawa neighborhood about 4 miles from downtown Toledo.
The campus program includes bringing a initial fleet size of 125 E-scooters with the opportunity to expand as needed. The school has “hot spots” for the E-scooters to be placed in where there are high populations of students. The E-scooters are available from dusk to dawn seven days a week, but not during mid-November to mid-March due to Ohio’s cold winters and the potential for snow. Lime will make the determinations if the weather prohibits the E-scooters from being deployed. University of Toledo’s website states that Lime E-scooters must stay on the University’s property and have not been approved for off-campus use at this time. There is no evidence that Toledo, Ohio has banned E-scooters within the city. A geo-fence has been installed to notify the E-scooter users when the E-scooter is out of bounds. The area surrounding the University is a mostly suburban area.
The University is not providing helmets or other protective equipment but encourages the use of helmets. Helmets are not required on campus, but strongly encouraged. For the most part, the University has made no changes to the user experience Lime expects from its users. The University has not implemented anything outside of the designated hot spots and the University is not paying for Lime to be there. Rules and regulation set forth by the University of Toledo include keeping the E-scooters on campus, following all state motor vehicle laws, yielding to pedestrians, avoiding zones prohibiting E-scooter usage, allowing only one person at a time, students cannot ride in buildings or parking structures, may not be charged on campus, E-scooters shall be ridden on bicycle routes and campus roads, and they shall be parked in appropriate locations.
The University cautions that any misuse of the E-scooter may result in state citation, university violations and fines. Furthermore, if the E-scooters are a continual problem the University may revoke privileges on campus.
There is an article in the local news, sports, and entertainment website, the Toledo Blade, written by Javonte Anderson which highlights the University of Toledo’s new partnership with Lime as a very positive thing for both the University and Lime.
The article quotes Lime’s director of strategic development who said that, “UT has been a real exciting partner to work with. … They’re clearly not afraid to be at the vanguard of affordable sustainable transportation”. This excitement is paralleled at the University with the executive vice president for finance and administration for the university exclaiming that the new E-scooters give students a new option for transportation, and a fun one at that. When asked about the safety of the E-scooters the University offered that they would be just as safe as a bike and encouraged riders to wear helmets.
University of Arizona – E-scooter Ban
The University of Arizona is a public research university located in Tucson, Arizona and has an undergraduate enrollment size of 32,964. Tucson, Arizona has a city population of 535,677 in 2017. The University is located just about a mile and a half outside of downtown, Tucson.
According to the campus website explaining the ban, the “policy is in place because we are concerned about the safety of E-scooters and their potential to limit accessibility on campus, especially for those with disabilities.” More specifically the campus has a problem with the E-scooters “blocking doorways, walkways, and other campus paths” as well as being brought into campus buildings. The campus defined the E-scooters in its Motor Rules and Regulations as “scooters (electric and non-electric, owned by either an individual or shared-use mobility company)”. This section on “non-pedestrian devices” includes roller and inline skates, scooters, segways, skateboards and hoverboards. The Motor Rules and Regulations explain that the listed non-pedestrian devices “except electric scooters” can be ridden on sidewalks. Furthermore the Motor Rules and Regulations clarify that
“Electric scooters (excluding handicap scooters) are prohibited on the University of Arizona campus. Such may not be operated on the campus nor brought into any campus building. This applies to electric scooters owned either by an individual or a shared-use mobility company, unless expressly approved by the University. Proper vetting and review of shared-used mobility programs is required by the University to ensure that the operators regularly inspect and maintain the safety of the rental scooters, have responsible and sustainable business practices, and are committed to comply with University processes and policies.”
The campus makes it very clear that E-scooters have been banned on campus. If found on campus the, “Electric scooters that are found in use, parked, or abandoned on campus are subject to impoundment.” Furthermore, if anyone or thing is damaged or injured from the E-scooters, “the University of Arizona would seek to hold the shared-use mobility company responsible to the fullest extent possible, as such damage or injury would be related to use of an unauthorized vehicle on campus”.
A local news website, Tucson.com, reported on the E-scooter campus ban a day before it went into affect on campus. The interim executive director of the University of Arizona parking and transportation services, Gail Nazarenko, is quoted in the article as saying that “the scooters aren’t massively in use on campus and there haven’t been any problems yet, but the school wants to be proactive.” The article also explains that in the summer of 2018, the city of Tucson banned the E-scooters from city roads before they were implemented in the city. The city “cited the lack of proper brakes and safety equipment when it instituted the ban”. Any unattended E-scooters were confiscated by the city. Nazarenko explained that if the ban was to be lifted, it would be only after rules were established for the companies that rent out the E-scooters to individuals.
|Name of University/College||Campus Population Size||City||State||Campus Location relative to City||Banned/Permitted|
|University of Minnesota||30,511||Minneapolis||Minnesota||2.5 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|University of Toledo||14,989||Toledo||Ohio||4.0 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|University of South Alabama||11,379||Mobile||Alabama||8.9 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|Guildford College||1,768||Greensboro||North Carolina||6.0 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|Purdue||30,233||West Lafayette||Indiana||1.4 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|University of Colorado-Boulder||26,496||Boulder||Colorado||1.0 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|Texas A&M||48,707||College Station||Texas||less than a mile||Permitted|
|University of Arizona||32,964||Tucson||Arizona||1.7 miles from downtown||Banned|
|University of Missouri||27,393||Columbia||Missouri||0.5 mile from downtown||Banned|
|Ohio State University||44,131||Columbus||Ohio||4.0 miles from downtown||Banned|
|Oklahoma State University||20,805||Stillwater||Oklahoma||1.1 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|Michigan State University||38,853||East Lancing||Michigan||0.1 miles from downtown||Banned|
|Loyola Marmount University||6,162||Los Angeles||California||17.8 miles from downtown||Banned|
|Xavier University||2,165||Cinncinnati||Ohio||5.5 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|UCLA||29,581||Los Angeles||California||15.8 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|Clemson University||17,740||Clemson||South Carolina||0.5 mile from downtown||Banned|
|University of Miami||10,768||Miami||Florida||6.8 miles from downtown||Permitted|
|Miami University||15,975||Oxford||Ohio||0.6 miles from downtown||Banned|