Although there is no official school policy on the issue, Del Mar is taking steps to limit the use of motorized scooters on campus.
The scooters, from companies such as Bird and Blue Duck, have led to questions about the safety and security of on-campus motorized vehicles.
“The administration prefers that we do not have them on campus,” said Chief of Security Lauren White. “Because of construction and the absence of designated bike lanes, they are to be ridden on the street.”
Del Mar is asking students to not use them on campus sidewalks, which are already experiencing increased foot traffic because of the construction that limits sidewalk access. Using scooters on sidewalks also poses a problem for students who use a wheelchair.
According to White, there is a formal process potential commercial vendors must complete before their services are used on campus, and this was not done by motorized scooter company Bird. This process requires the company to present a bid proposal to the college before signing an official contract.
Del Mar has since contacted the company and it is now advising its workers to not drop off scooters on Del Mar College’s campuses.
Bird does state as a part of its safety rules that scooters are not to be parked where they block pedestrian walkways.
If students are found riding scooters on campus they will not receive tickets, instead they will be asked to ride either in the school parking lot or off campus.
“I think it would be helpful for students to use scooters so they won’t be late for class,” said social work major Maricela Huerta. “I don’t see how it harms students. If you’re over the age of 18, you are responsible enough to ride a scooter.”
The city of Corpus Christi recently passed a six-month pilot program that regulates the electric scooter companies. The ordinance, which was opposed by Bird and competing operator Lime, requires operators to pay a $1-per-day-per-scooter fee. All money from the fees will go toward improving city sidewalks and other improvements related to pedestrian safety.