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Sept. 20, 2019

MSU expands mobility research opportunities with e-scooter partner

Michigan State University has entered into an exclusive partnership with Gotcha to provide scooters for use by students, faculty and staff. The program will include approximately 300 e-scooters at 40 hubs throughout campus. 

As part of the agreement, Gotcha will provide MSU mobility researchers with data, collected anonymously, that fits with the university’s larger mission to leverage its campus as a testbed to drive the future of human-centric mobility.

“E-scooters are a relatively new, yet increasing popular mode of transportation, particularly for students. To accommodate this, we considered two things: rider safety and data sharing,” said Wolfgang Bauer, associate vice president for Administrative Services and University Distinguished Professor. “We are confident in Gotcha’s approach to encouraging rider safety. Plus, the available real-time data has endless opportunities to advance mobility research.”

The e-scooter data will provide insight on how this emerging technology fits into the larger transportation picture by giving researchers the opportunity to:

  • Analyze traffic density to ensure better management, especially during busy time periods, such as athletic events.
  • Develop technology solutions to encourage good social behavior, from safe driving practices, to alleviating accessibility hazards, such as the issue of e-scooters being left in the middle of sidewalks or blocking stairs.
  • Analyze how, when and why e-scooters are used.
  • Develop sensors to predict mechanical failure in batteries, tires, bearings and joints to enable proactive maintenance.
  • Explore the sociological impact of mobility related transportation.

“We’re excited to bring a micro-transit solution to MSU’s campus for students to commute to class and around town,” said Sean Flood, chief executive officer and founder of Gotcha. “Gotcha’s e-scooters are a great way to connect students to the city in a safe, affordable and environmentally friendly way.”

As required by campus ordinance, e-scooters must be parked in areas designated by the MSU Police Department, known as mobility hubs.

Riders can download the “Gotcha Scooters” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to register, locate, and unlock scooters.

Scooters are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, which costs $1 to unlock a scooter and 15 cents for each minute of use. Frequent riders can purchase a monthly Mo-Pass subscription for $24.99 to do away with the unlock fee and enjoy an hour of ride time; additional ride time will cost 15 cents per minute thereafter. 

Gotcha e-scooters will receive permits to park on campus. Any other e-scooters, including those privately owned, must obtain a permit to park from the MSUPD. Riders must be 18 years old or older to ride Gotcha’s e-scooters and should obey local traffic laws. Gotcha encourages riders to wear a helmet while riding.  

Scooter operations will be shut down on campus on MSU football game days. Due to the high volume of visitors for those events, the scooters will not be accessible for the safety of students and attendees. 

In April, the MSU Board of Trustees approved a change to Ordinance 33.00 (Bicyclist – Traffic) allowing electric mobility devices to be operated in campus bicycle lanes and on roadways.

With offices in California, Georgia and South Carolina, Gotcha has 10 years of experience in the micro-transit industry. Today, the company has partnerships to provide mobility assets in more than 50 cities and universities across the country, including new relationships in East Lansing and Lansing.

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