Should electric bicycles and scooters be banned on university campuses?

Maxence Glineur

August 28, 2023 at 8:30 a.m.


electric bike © © KBO Bike / Unsplash

© KBO Bike / Unsplash

For several years, urban mobility has been evolving in all directions towards electric vehicles. But this democratization is not without its problems, exacerbated by the proliferation of entry-level models which represent a real danger that more and more universities are trying to prevent.

Indeed, it is not only in the cities that the debate around scooters and electric bikes is raging. University campuses are also affected, and some students may have to leave their gear in the garage during the start of the academic year which is looming on the horizon.

A real danger for students

The students of Boston College, in the United States, received a message that must not have pleased everyone. The university has announced that small electric vehicles are no longer allowed on campus. A brutal decision, motivated by security reasons, but which could have an impact on many students, as scooters and electric bicycles are increasingly present on campuses around the world. These easy-to-use means of transport allow future graduates to move more quickly between the different buildings, sometimes very far from each other, without sweating or feeling sore after a week of classes.

But, of course, they also come with their own set of problems. Drivers are criticized for being less respectful of traffic laws or safety rules, which leads to accidents and injuries in areas often occupied by pedestrians. And, as in many cities, the lack of appropriate infrastructure makes this new urban mobility a real nuisance, making campuses less pleasant and less safe.

In addition, owners of electric bicycles and scooters have become accustomed to storing their device at home, in their apartment or in their student room. In particular because their price can quickly reach four-figure sums, but also because they need to be recharged. And, as New York City has experienced, low-quality batteries in some entry-level vehicles have a tendency to catch fire. This represents a huge security problem in buildings where the number of occupants per floor is generally much higher than average.

electric bike © © Nubia Navarro / Pexels

© Nubia Navarro / Pexels

An almost indispensable tool

For all these reasons, the list of American universities banning these small electric vehicles is growing. And, if the student protests manage to roll back some of them on the subject, it could be that more and more establishments in the world follow the movement, perhaps even in France. Electric bikes and scooters, despite their sometimes relatively high price, do however offer students greater mobility with minimal maintenance. A real breath of fresh air for part of the population which can quickly suffer on a daily basis from insufficient public transport infrastructure, which is expensive or difficult to use.

Of course, not all university campuses are impassable on foot, far from it. But some border on gigantism, and anyone who has visited them can testify to the difficulty of getting around. While more and more establishments are trying to set up internal public transport solutions, others are adapting to this new urban mobility and setting up appropriate infrastructures. The University of Bordeaux, for example, has gone even further since the beginning of the year by offering self-service electric bicycles, scooters and scooters.

Source : Electrek

Source link -99