By Lisa S. Cleveland, UK Now
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The City of Lexington recently approved permits for shared-use bicycle and e-scooter companies to operate within city limits, which means that these vehicles will begin showing up on University of Kentucky’s campus.
UK will choose one of the city’s approved shared mobility companies as its preferred partner soon after the launch. However, bikes and e-scooters from each approved company are allowed to be ridden onto UK’s campus, provided the company is in good standing with the university.
UK students and employees already have experience with shared-use bicycles through the joint city-university one-year pilot program with Spin. Spin provided dockless bike share to the campus and city through June 2019, which allowed for the development of regulations to make this new type of transportation option work for both the university and Lexington.
Shared use e-scooters are new to UK, though. Here’s what you need to know about riding and parking them on campus:
- E-scooters on campus must be parked at bike racks or in designated parking areas.
- E-scooters are permitted to ride on sidewalks on campus, but they are not permitted on sidewalks off-campus. When riding on sidewalks yield to pedestrians and be courteous.
- E-scooters are permitted in bike lanes and must follow the rules of the road like any other vehicle.
- Helmets are highly recommended while riding an e-scooter, but they are not required under state law.
- E-scooter riders are asked to be courteous and considerate of others. This could include dismounting during class changes or other periods of high congestion.
A good rule of thumb is to operate and park e-scooters as you would a bicycle.
Additional details will be distributed once the university chooses its preferred vendor. The preferred partner will have special privileges on campus, including designated scooter and bike drop-off zones and university marketing support. The company may also opt to provide special discounts to students and employees who use their vehicles and are expected to provide exclusive benefits to UK Commute Club members.
“People are either really excited or really apprehensive about e-scooters coming to their community,” said Sandra Broadus, UK Transportation Services’ alternative transportation manager. “The first few months may be a little hectic just because of the learning curve associated with a new type of mobility and how to operate them. But ultimately, we believe that having more transportation options to get to, from and around campus without a car is beneficial because it reduces parking and traffic congestion, reduces our carbon footprint and improves the health of the riders.”