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Electric scooters coming back to Oklahoma State University

December 27, 2018

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State University is working with an electric scooter company called Spin after student outcry followed the university’s decision to cut ties with other alternative transportation companies like Bird and Lime.

University officials reviewed several proposals before deciding to partner with Spin, which first launched in San Francisco, the Stillwater News Press reported . Spin, which was recently acquired by Ford, initially focused on dockless bicycle rentals but got into the scooter business earlier this year.

The company’s electric scooters can go up to 15 mph (24 kph) and have grown in popularity. However, some cities and local leaders have struggled with how to regulate them. Oklahoma State implemented a ban on Lime and Bird scooters in October because of safety concerns, such as the scooters blocking sidewalks or building entrances for people who have limited mobility.

The companies were given an Oct. 15 deadline to clear their scooters off campus or risk having them impounded. The companies then put in geofences that blocked their scooters from being operated on campus.

In November, the university’s transportation department director, Steve Spradling, said his department would look for a scooter company that could ensure scooters were appropriately parked to avoid safety and accessibility problems.

“Lime is doing that now through a fine. If someone brings one on campus, we actually fine them, and we haven’t had issues since that has been put into place,” Spradling said.

Oklahoma State University’s target implementation date for the new scooter program is Jan. 3. School officials hope to have the scooters available by Jan. 14, when the spring semester begins.

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Information from: Stillwater News Press, http://www.stwnewspress.com

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