Virginia Tech to study e-scooters on Blacksburg campus

Published: Sep. 3, 2019 at 6:54 PM EDT
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Students were impressed as they checked out the new e-scooters that are now appearing on campus.

The company Spin is rolling out about 300 of them, and partnering with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on a year-long study.

Ted Sweeney is Senior Special Projects Manager with Spin.

"We're really excited to find our what kind of trips people are using scooters for, when they're choosing a scooter over other modes," Sweeney told WDBJ7. "We're excited to know how scooters are interacting with other modes of transportation."

Both Spin and Virginia Tech say their top priority is safety.

Mike Mollenhauer is the Director of the Center for Technology Implementation at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

"So we've got cameras, and other data collection mechanisms throughout the campus, to try and capture data," Mollenhauer said. "And when we see there are problems, we want to look at the video and try to classify it. Is it an infrastructure problem? Is it a scooter problem in terms of how it's designed? Or is it a rider behavior problem?"

Students familiar with scooters in other cities said it's about time.

"When you're running late for your 8 a.m. and you need a quick way to get to class then it's a great option for that," said Victor Zimbardi.

Isaiah Varella agreed. "Initial reaction it was super fun," Varella said. "It was really zippy. I can definitely see myself zipping to class on this thing."

And the cost? Spin says a trip across campus is about the same as a ride on Blacksburg Transit.

Copyright 2019/WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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