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April 26, 2021

New partnership brings e-scooters back to campus

Mobility research to continue

Michigan State University has a new exclusive partnership to provide e-scooters on campus with Spin, a San Francisco-based micromobility unit of Ford Motor Co., that will bring hundreds of e-scooters to campus this fall. The partnership is a continuation of the university’s effort to use the campus as a testbed to drive the future of human-centric mobility solutions.

On April 29, Spin will deliver its first fleet of 50 scooters to MSU’s campus. The fleet will increase to 600 scooters, based on demand.

“Spin has demonstrated itself to be an innovative leader in the micromobility space and we are excited to provide our campus with improved mobility while continuing to evolve MSU into a best-in-class first-mile last-mile research destination,” said Brice Nelson, senior director of corporate partnerships at Business Connect, a unit housed under the MSU Innovation Center.

Scooters can be found at various locations throughout campus as well as on East Grand River and Albert avenues. To unlock the scooters, riders must download the Spin app onto their Apple or Android device. The scooters cost $1 to unlock and 20 cents per minute to ride.

In the Spin app, riders can view a map of the Slow Zones (reduced speed zones) and the locations of the scooters. The scooters have a top speed of 15 mph on campus and are operational from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

With COVID-19 precautions, all scooters will be sanitized several times each week by Spin representatives. Riders are encouraged to sanitize their hands before and after riding to prevent the spread of germs.

“We look forward to giving students, staff and faculty a safe, sustainable and socially-distanced form of transportation to navigate MSU’s expansive campus,” said John Lankford, head of campus partnerships at Spin. “As the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company, we’re excited to serve the MSU community in Ford’s home state of Michigan while driving research that will inform the future of the micromobility industry.”

Anonymized data from the scooters will be available to MSU mobility researchers to further understand how people use scooters and interact with other methods of transportation to get from point A to point B. This area of research is expected to expand as the popularity of micromobility options grows on campus.

“MSU is on the cutting edge of providing safe and efficient micromobility options,” Nelson added. “We have the base to continue our process of implementing and inventing technology that leverages our campus infrastructure to enable the coexistence of pedestrians, bicyclists, e-scooters, cars and buses.”

Any e-scooters other than Spin, including those privately owned, must obtain a permit to park from the MSUPD. Individuals must be 18 years old or older to ride Spin’s e-scooters and should obey local traffic laws. MSU and Spin encourage users to wear a helmet while riding.

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