After a month of operation, the presence of e-scooters in Oxford has prompted Miami University to reconsider the role e-scooters play on campus.
Two weeks ago, Miami administrators met with the scooter companies’ representatives to communicate concerns about appropriate use of the scooters on campus. Claire Wagner, the director of Miami’s News and Communications Office, said the meeting has led to an updated process for how impounded scooters are released to the companies
A Miami University Police Department (MUPD) member will now have ongoing conversations with Bird and Lime to notify them on the status of the scooters that have been impounded by the university.
So far, six scooters have been impounded due to students bringing them inside of dorms on campus.
Miami’s transportation webpage now includes an option to report individual experiences with e- scooters in an attempt to gain feedback from the public.
“We are being mindful of experiences and trying to collect as much information that we can,” Wagner said.
The feedback will help Miami administrators understand the impact the e-scooters are having in the community, and how to make decisions concerning the future of alternative transportation on campus. The information is being collected for an overall evaluation of the e-scooter pilot programs Oxford has permitted in town.
The transportation survey was proposed by MUPD Captain Ben Spilman.
Not only has the university encountered hurdles due to the e-scooters, but the city has encountered complaints and found that the permit terms with the city have not been consistently followed.
After monitoring the e-scooter apps in use around town, Oxford officials noticed Lime scooters were still in operation past the 10:00 p.m. time restriction, as agreed upon in their permit with the city.
The issue was brought to the attention of Lime coordinators, and they corrected the software problem Monday, Oct. 29, nearly a month after the e-scooters arrived in town according to Alan Kyger, the director of economic development in Oxford.
Many of the other concerns from community members have been surrounding e-scooter parking.
In an attempt to effectively control the parking problems posed by the devices, the City of Oxford turned two uptown parking spaces into e-scooter and bike parking. The two locations are positioned off High Street.
Kyger said the creation of these new parking locations has created concerns from an unnamed Uptown business who has complained that the new scooter and bike parking has taken away car parking spaces from their establishment.
These and other challenges will be considered when the pilot programs are evaluated in the spring to decide as to whether or not the programs will continue said Kyger.