By Luke Lemley | Contributor
Toward the beginning of Fall 2018, Waco was picked to be the ninth location in Texas to be a partner for Bird Corporation. Bird is an electric scooter company that works with cities to make transportation enjoyable, easier and more environmentally-friendly.
Bird scooters are accessed through an app that allows you to locate the nearest scooter, access it quickly and leave your scooter wherever you want when you’re done with it. For two days, Baylor students used these scooters to travel to and from campus with little expense and effort required. Unfortunately, these scooters were removed the following Saturday morning due to pressure from the city of Waco.
It’s no secret that a majority of Baylor students say campus parking is a serious issue. Parking on campus is a pain for two reasons: It is expensive and lacks to necessary space to provide a spot for each student with a pass. Students are prohibited from using the first floor of parking garages, and the second, third and fourth floors do not have nearly enough room to provide a spot for everyone. This leaves students in a constant struggle to dodge traffic jams, be on time and find a place to study that they can drive to.
Bird scooters and other brands like it allow users to travel quite a distance without concern for gas or parking, and these scooters therefore provide the most immediate and inexpensive solution to on campus parking.
If electric scooters were approved by the city of Waco, this would solve the parking and transportation for more than just Baylor’s campus, but also for tourist sites like Magnolia. A spokesman for Bird told the Waco Tribune-Herald that the company looks forward to continuing to work closely with the city, university and other stakeholders so Bird can be a reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly transportation option for the community. When asked about progressing toward a permanent installment of shared scooters, Bradley Ford, assistant to the city manager, said it is too early to say if the two-day incident will spark a policy shift towards scooters.
“I think what city staff worked on since Friday is just trying to get resolution to the scooters quickly, and I’m sure in the coming days we’ll have further discussion about scooters as it relates to bike sharing,” Ford said in a Waco Tribune-Herald article.
People would be able to click on the app, locate the nearest Bird, Lime or Razor scooter, and travel with ease. This has the potential to make Waco a much more functional city and make traffic and transportation more efficient. This would also solve the parking and travel dilemma for Baylor Bears.
Senior marketing major