The weather is starting to get nicer. The sun is setting later. And the infamous Rutgers scooters have made a comeback. The scooters at first seemed to be a great idea, as they provided another mode of transportation and were sleek. Not only do they look appealing, but they also seem to be fun.
Despite these apparent advantages to the scooters, there are some serious drawbacks to them that should be front of mind to students and University administrators who have approved the scooters.
A key problem that the scooters bring about is the risk of injury involved with riding them — for both the rider of the scooter and pedestrians. People ride scooters on the sidewalks, which puts people in danger.
The scooters can get up to 15 miles per hour — if the rider is distracted or something happens, they could seriously injure innocent pedestrians who are just walking.
There are also cases where multiple people try to ride one scooter or a person tries to drive two at once — both incredibly dangerous.
These dangers are only exacerbated, though, by the fact that so many of these scooters are located on the College Avenue campus. Not only is the College Ave campus the most densely populated and the most congested, but it is also the campus with the closest access to bars and where people go out.
As a consequence, there is a possibility that people who go out — and get drunk — will then use the scooters and intensify the risk and worsen any danger. People who are intoxicated with easy access to motorized scooters are never a good idea.
This is also worsened by the fact that scooters are left everywhere. It is completely conceivable that a scooter could be left by a bar, leading someone to attempt riding it.
For these safety concerns, the University should seriously consider limiting — or not bringing back at all — the scooters. The risk associated with scooters near bars and with easy access for those under the influence to get on a scooter is too great and cannot be ignored.
The problem of scooters being left all over the place raises issues not just of safety but of cleanliness. Scattered scooters make the campus look messy and unwelcoming. From an aesthetic standpoint, then, the University should seriously reconsider bringing the scooters back.
Not only does it make the campus look messy with scooters scattered all over the place, but this can also lead to people tripping over them. This is another huge safety concern.
Not just these elements, though, the scooters are also expensive. The scooters cost one dollar to start and then .28 cents for every minute in use — for a 10-minute ride, it would cost $3.80. Although we all get frustrated with the buses, the price to use a scooter daily can be too much for college students.
Rutgers undisputedly has a transportation problem. The scooters are a valiant effort to make transportation easier and give students more power over their commutes. But, scooters actually seem to make the problem of transportation even worse.
Scooters might give the false sense that students do not need more bus stops. Scooters are not entirely to blame for why the University has stopped certain bus stops, but they do give a false impression that students have other means of getting to places.
Instead of scooters, we would like to see Rutgers tackle the transportation problem in a more sustainable way that is safe and makes the campus more welcoming. This can include alternatives to buses. Rutgers should invest in bikes and have a bike-sharing program, or at least increase the number of bike lanes and routes to get from campus to campus.
This type of program could be administered in a way that gives students the option to sign up and pay an affordable semester fee that would then give them access to bike rides for the entire semester.
In addition to increased bike lanes, a more walkable campus could also reduce the need for buses and make getting to class or getting around campus easier.
Ultimately, scooters might be great in theory, but they are really just unnecessary and cause more problems than they alleviate. Rutgers should not bring back scooters, at all.
As students, we deserve more transportation options that are both safe and efficient. Until that happens, though, we must all remain aware of our surroundings and be on the constant lookout. Stay safe, Rutgers.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 154th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.