New transportation on U.S. campuses

Many college campuses now have e-scooters for students to rent and ride

CNU has a small campus. Everything is less than a ten minute walk. In fact, going to the library from McMurran Hall is arguable a five minute walk. But that does not mean students do not want e-scooters on campus. Our neighbors, ODU, have implemented the use of e-scooters. Believe it or not, CNU is actually nine acres bigger then ODU. As for student size, ODU has four times as many students as CNU. So why do they have e-scooters and we do not? One reason could be that ODU’s buildings are so spread out amongst their campus. CNU was designed to have an intimate campus with the academic buildings, library, DSU and Newport Hall right next to each other with the dormitories. However, many students who live on east campus, Warwick and Rapp have raised issues. Their walk is easily ten minutes to class when other housing is less than five minutes. Could e-scooters be the potential answer to this problem? 

While walking around campus, I asked random groups of students what their opinion was about getting e-scooters on campus. It was mixed reviews. When I stopped a group of five students, all of their answers were an enthusiastic yes. On the contrary, when I asked two students their opinion on the matter, they said no. Their reasoning was due to nothing being far away from each other. Keep in mind, both students lived on east campus. Their alternative was bikes they can rent and drop off at a station in front of buildings. Rithwik Patel, sophomore, said, “I would be super excited if we got e-scooters.” In addition, sophomore Lindsey Rose was in line with the idea, “I am late to class, like a lot. It would be beneficial to be able to rent an e-scooter and voom over to my class in Forbes. It would be even better when it is raining outside!” The positive views on the e-scooters kept rolling in: Jacob Aguilar, junior, “I skateboard so I would not really have a use for them. Plus scooters are pretty lame.” Senior Nathan Roberts said, “lowkey that would be kinda hype.” Alea Boden, junior, “Realistically, I think they would be damaged, a lot.” Overall, the students seem to embrace the e-scooters.

Realistically, would the e-scooters make a profit? Of course, the e-scooters would be used a lot the first couple of weeks they are here, but would that last? Theoretically, the e-scooters cost money, and college students are notorious for not having much money. To be a realist, the e-scooters would live up to the hype for a couple of weeks but plateau after a while. As of right now, Lime e-scooters costs a dollar to unlock the scooter and 15 cents per minute. Making a five minute trip $1.75 and a 10 minute trip $2.50. One must link their credit card to the app in order to use them. If in use once or twice a week, the pricing would not be too horrendous. It would not hit students’ wallets much at all. If used daily, the e-scooters could do some serious damage on a person’s wallet. It comes down to what students are willing to pay to ride these e-scooters. Perhaps CNU could consider a trial period to track and analyze the success rate of the e-scooters at CNU. A huge pro for the e-scooters would be inclement weather. On extreme cold, hot and rainy days, a student might think it is worth the money to rent one. A con and a pro is the geofence. Unfortunately for students, you cannot take the e-scooter on a joy ride to McDonalds or Harris Teeter. Fortunately for CNU and e-scooter companies, they can rest assured that they would not be losing any scooters to the vast neighborhoods of Newport News. 

Knowing CNU, there is one major con: eye-sore. Anyone who walks on CNU campus or even sees photos of CNU would say the campus is extraordinarily beautiful. This is something President Trible takes a lot of pride in. Let’s face it, the rumor of painting the grass has not been confirmed, but it can be implied that no grass looks as nice as it does all the time. The eye-sore of docking stations might be a deal breaker for the President. The docking stations are bigger than bike racks and hold less scooters than bike racks can hold bikes. If the scooters are going to accommodate for the amount of students, there would have to be a good amount of scooters, meaning more docking stations. So either President Trible would have to come to terms with the eye-sore or bike racks could potentially be downsized to make room for the docking stations. Only time will tell if CNU continues to grow with the mass technological world.

~Caitlyn Bauske, Staff Writer~

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