Micromobility Research Project Brings E-scooters to LSU’s Flagship Campus
April 12, 2023
Data will help inform future transportation initiatives
BATON ROUGE – LSU is partnering with Spin, a San Francisco-based company working with over 70 North American cities and campuses on micromobility solutions, to provide electric scooter transportation for students, faculty, staff and visitors on the Baton Rouge campus. The initiative is part of an LSU micromobility research project on transportation sustainability and efficiency.
The research, led by the LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, aims to study the economic, environmental and social characteristics of e-scooters and inform current and future micromobility initiatives. The project uses Spin e-scooter data to develop a cross-campus life-cycle analysis and is part of the research portfolio of the Transportation Consortium of South-Central States or Tran-SET, an LSU-led U.S. Department of Transportation collaborative partnership between 11 institutions across five states.
“Many campuses across the U.S. are relying on micromobility solutions to help with campus infrastructure improvements and student experiences,” said Mostafa A. Elseifi, professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and lead on the research project. “The Spin platform’s safety and data features made them an ideal partner for our life-cycle analysis and helped us view campus as a test lab for changing transportation demands. We look forward to sharing our findings to inform a better campus transportation experience.”
In addition to providing data on preferred campus pathways and transportation density, the Spin scooters offer a zero-emission option for traversing campus and incorporate safety features such as “no-ride zones” and “slow ride zones” at various locations. The zones are visible within the Spin mobile app used to reserve and pay for the use of the scooters. The initial research deployment includes 250 e-scooters and designates specific locations where the devices will be parked on campus. Spin support personnel are currently operating across campus daily to replace batteries, repair equipment and relocate scooters to designated areas.
The Spin scooters cost $1 to unlock plus 30 cents per minute of use, with daily and monthly programs available. The scooters’ top speed is 15 mph unless in a slow or no-ride zone, which are viewable in the Spin app. The research project includes campus and surrounding areas, so Spin equipment offers a potential transportation solution for both short and medium distances.
“The urban campus footprint of LSU offers an excellent use case for micromobility,” said John Lankford, manager of campus and government partnerships at Spin. “We’re excited about the opportunity to work with LSU on a safe, equitable and sustainable transportation solution for the campus community, and to serve as a strong partner in transportation research.”
Spin is working with LSU Parking & Transportation to designate specific locations where the devices should be parked on campus, LSU Student Government to understand student needs and the Office of Research & Economic Development on additional transportation research opportunities. Spin has a local team to assist in ensuring scooters are maintained and relocated for safety and use. A tag with a link to the LSU research project can be found on every scooter.
LSU Parking & Transportation underscored the following important considerations for users of the Spin scooters:
- When ending a trip, scooters must be returned to the nearest bike rack or designated zone. Scooters cannot block sidewalks, building entrances or roadways.
- Safety is the highest priority. When operating scooters, stay alert and follow the rules of the road. Be mindful of pedestrians and vehicles.
- Scooters should not be ridden on grassy areas or in buildings, including residence halls.
- The scooters are a convenient and fun way to traverse campus and an opportunity to work on important research, but participants must be responsible and respectful of students, faculty, staff and visitors.
- Spin personnel are available daily for repairs and operations, but riders must also follow best practices for safety and convenience, including returning scooters to designated locations. Failure to observe these best practices may result in limited riding privileges.
- Any scooter improperly parked or otherwise impacting any campus access can be reported to Spin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the project: Tran-SET Spin Project