Electric scooters arrive at ASU; next phase of strategic plan announced

by George Jared ([email protected]) 603 views 

The Arkansas State University Student Government Association and Chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced Wednesday (Sept. 18) the arrival of shared-use electric scooters on the campus. Partnering with ASU’s current dockless bike share vendor, VeoRide, students  will welcome the start of service on Monday, Sept. 23.

“We’ve heard from students across the campus how much they wanted a scooter service to get from residence halls to class, or from their cars in the commuter lots to class,” SGA president Erika Tuck said. “The SGA is looking forward to working with VeoRide to promote safe and responsible scooter use on campus.”

The university announced that electric scooters would come onto campus for the fall in early August.

“There were several factors involved in the decision to allow VeoRide to begin service, but the top one was interest from our students to have scooters,” Damphousse said. “The performance of VeoRide over the past year to keep our dockless bicycle share in better shape showed we could count on them to do the same with scooters.”

On the A-State campus, a system of 10-foot wide multi-use paths are designated as the PAC (Pedestrian and Cyclist) Paths, and scooters should be used only on those paths with the width to handle mixed traffic, officials said.

“These guidelines apply to any scooter – whether it’s one of VeoRide’s or a privately owned scooter,” Damphousse said. “For example, we have designated the high pedestrian traffic areas of campus as ‘low speed’ zones. Scooters should not be ridden on traditional width sidewalks. And most of all, pedestrians have the right of way at all times.”

Through the use of a geofence, VeoRide’s scooters will not be able to operate above low power in the campus core. They will also shut off at the edge of campus, and cannot be parked in vehicle parking lots.

The university’s Student Conduct Office will work with VeoRide on cases of serious or repeat violators of the scooter policies. The guidelines can be found online at AState.edu/Scooter.

While the same VeoRide mobile app is used to rent either bicycles or scooters, the price structures are different. Unlike bicycles that are rented for blocks of time, scooters charge the user by the minute. This is consistent pricing for electric scooters across the industry.

In other ASU business, as part of the ongoing strategic planning process at ASU, Dr. Summer Deprow and Dr. Russ Hannah have been named this week to lead the next phase.

They will serve as the co-facilitators of the public forums of the strategic plan, and were designated as representatives of their respective divisions, Academic Affairs and Finance and Administration.

“The steering committee received great feedback in the late spring and early summer from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to assemble a draft outline,” Damphousse said. “I’m looking forward to the meetings Drs. Deprow and Hannah will lead as we host those same groups to discuss and refine the outline.”

Deprow is the assistant vice chancellor for assessment and accreditation. Hannah is the associate vice chancellor for business and finance.

Meetings are tentatively set for September and October.