This summer, Spin, a new rentable scooter company, launched its services city-wide by giving residents a variety of scooters to commute with.
Each scooter company offers many cities across the nation a way to get to a relatively lengthy destination in less than half the time it would take on foot. Christian Reyna, an engineering major at the University of Memphis, said she credits the scooter companies for providing students a faster way to their classes.
“I honestly thought we could have used more scooters in the past,” Reyna said. “I really can’t think of how many times I have jumped in one, gotten from one end of campus to another in about a minute, and made it to class. This is a pretty great example of technology we use today that is beneficial, efficient and creative.”
Scooter companies see high usage of their products by providing convenient and accessable transportation. By installing a company’s app, entering your card information and scanning any scooter in the area, it takes less than a minute to connect with thousands of vehicles in the vicinity.
Spin charges the same rate as Lime. Activating their scooters costs $1 plus an extra fifteen cents per minute. Other companies, such as Bird, charge per mile, which students normally preferred due to cheaper rides.
Each company app contains a map indicating where each scooter is located within the city. The locations of scooters can be very scattered at times because unlike rentable bicycles, they do not need to be returned to a charging station. It is up to the rider to choose where the scooter is safely parked for the next rider to use.
Not only have scooters been used for efficient transportation, but many young people have gravitated towards it for a fun and cheap way to ride during an afternoon with friends. Many local teenagers and college students go to downtown Memphis to rent scooters for several hours at times.
Jordan Hennings, a sophomore student at the UofM, said he spends many afternoons after his classes riding throughout campus with his friends to ease off a long day’s stress.
“Many people wind down a long day of school with Netflix or video games, and this is what relaxes me,” Hennings said. “Our campus is mostly empty in the late afternoon, which is the perfect time to ride around without having to slow down for crowds like it is downtown all the time.”
Raji Grover, the Chair of Excellence of Sales and Marketing at the University of Memphis, said Spin, along with Lime and Bird, raises an issue of safety for students due to traffic.
“Having these scooters on campus is a good thing, but more on the actual city streets is a different ball game because of traffic,” Grover said. “The safety issue is not so much a problem on campus, but what I would prefer on campus personally is to just walk because many of the students today don’t get their necessary exercise anymore, and scooters take away from that.”