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

University of Arizona has taken a dramatically different take on E-scooter usage on campus. Effective October 24, 2018 they instituted a campus wide ban of the E-scooters.

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