MSU solicits scooter-sharing service for a campus area

A rider poses with a scooter he rented at Colorado State University. Several colleges in the U.S. have partnered with private scooter-sharing companies, something MSU is considering doing starting as soon as April.

MANKATO — Minnesota State University is looking to bring at least 50 rentable electric scooters to the campus as soon as April. Two companies responded to MSU’s invitation to companies interested in offering a scooter-sharing service on the 300-acre campus and possibly nearby student housing complexes. Saying a contract hasn’t been executed yet, MSU officials declined to comment beyond releasing the names of the two interested companies — White Fox Scooter and Lynx City. However, the lengthy request for proposals, or RFP, document provides hints to MSU’s motivation and what might be offered if the university reaches an agreement with one of the companies. A scooter-sharing service would be “likely to promote the public’s health, safety and welfare” by reducing the number of cars on campus and the accompanying traffic, noise, and air pollution, according to the RFP. “The university must balance the benefits of scooter sharing operations with its duty to keep streets and sidewalks safe, orderly and free of unregulated obstructions and encumbrances.” The plan is to start with 50 to 200 scooters for rent. “After an initial assessment as to their use and impact, and at the request of the vendor, more scooters may be authorized,” the RFP states. The scooters would be available for use starting as early as 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. and would be scattered across the campus at designated locations. Riders would be able to rent them at a per-minute rate, and MSU would receive a fee of $10 per month per scooter from the company. The expectation is they would be permitted only when snow and ice aren’t a threat, with the RFP suggesting a suspension of the service from mid-November to mid-April. The document places a variety of safety and rider-education responsibilities on the vendor. And MSU will reserve the right to impose speed controls on the scooters, which typically can operate at a top speed of 15 mph when they’re operated on university right-of-way.

Minnesota State University is looking to bring at least 50 rentable electric scooters to the campus as soon as April.

Two companies responded to MSU’s invitation to companies interested in offering a scooter-sharing service on the 300-acre campus and possibly nearby student housing complexes.

Saying a contract hasn’t been executed yet, MSU officials declined to comment beyond releasing the names of the two interested companies — White Fox Scooter and Lynx City.

However, the lengthy request for proposals, or RFP, document provides hints to MSU’s motivation and what might be offered if the university reaches agreement with one of the companies.

A scooter-sharing service would be “likely to promote the public’s health, safety and welfare” by reducing the number of cars on campus and the accompanying traffic, noise and air pollution, according to the RFP.

“The university must balance the benefits of scooter sharing operations with its duty to keep streets and sidewalks safe, orderly and free of unregulated obstructions and encumbrances.”

The plan is to start with 50 to 200 scooters for rent.

“After an initial assessment as to their use and impact, and at the request of the vendor, more scooters may be authorized,” the RFP states.

The scooters would be available for use starting as early as 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. and would be scattered across the campus at designated locations.

Riders would be able to rent them at a per-minute rate, and MSU would receive a fee of $10 per month per scooter from the company. The expectation is they would be permitted only when snow and ice aren’t a threat, with the RFP suggesting a suspension of the service from mid-November to mid-April.

The document places a variety of safety and rider-education responsibilities on the vendor. And MSU will reserve the right to impose speed controls on the scooters, which typically can operate at a top speed of 15 mph when they’re operated on university right-of-way.

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Source: https://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/local_news/msu-solicits-scooter-sharing-service-for-campus-area/article_d81c8f0a-5773-11eb-9687-23cd196cd87f.html