WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Motor-scooters could help combat a campus wide issue at Purdue. Student transportation has been a rising concern for university leaders since school is back in session during this pandemic.
The university has undergone a number of changes to accommodate statewide social distancing rules including the way it provides transportation for students.
Now Purdue leaders are looking at the SPIN scooters as a way to help ease travel for students.
“This week you will start to see a few scooters returning to Purdue University’s campus,” said Erin Easter, director of development for the city of West Lafayette.
University leaders have requested SPIN to drop-off around 50 to 70 scooters this week. They’re planning to continue bringing in more as they monitor the semester. Easter said the city didn’t plan to allow scooters back on campus because of the pandemic, but the university requested it after seeing a need for more travel options.
“There are fewer transportation opportunities and limited transportation opportunities for safety reasons,” said Easter.
Buses taking students to campus are seating fewer riders to follow social-distancing rules. In addition to that, the university’s only bike sharing company Zagster ended its operations earlier this summer. It’s unclear if it was due to Covid-19.
Easter sees these scooters as a positive if users follow the safety procedures.
“We are really happy about both Purdue and SPIN’s participation in making sure that we have really sound sanitation, sanitizing practices,” said Easter.
This includes signage on the scooters requiring users to wear a face mask. The city is also hoping riders consider wiping down the handles before use.
“Being able to utilize this as a transportation option is something that Purdue felt very strongly about and we’re happy to support,” said Easter.
Easter said the scooters will stay within campus perimeters for now. As the city continues monitoring student use and the pandemic, they may look into bringing in more scooters to be used citywide.