Why Bird Scooters Are a Good Idea
By: Brentley Kalata
Bellarmine University received an alternative form of efficient and cost-effective transportation with the introduction of Bird electric scooters.
Bird charges an initial riding charge rental fee of $1 plus an additional 20 cents for every minute on the Bird. In other words, Bird scooters are cheep, cheep!
The benefits of riding the scooter include a cost-efficient form of transportation as well as being convenient. Riders can park the scooter nearly anywhere.
Many underclassmen who live on the Bellarmine campus have been seen riding Bird scooters to and from class. Freshman Ben Taylor said, “The scooter allows me to leave later from the dorms and still arrive class on time.”
Students now have the ability not to worry about a long walk to class because they can just find a Bird, log into it and ride to class immediately. Social clubs have formed among students who like to come together and ride for a purpose or take a leisure ride.
Student athletes around campus are especially keen on the electric scooter. The scooter allows these athletes who don’t have a form of transportation to go from residence halls and classrooms to the athletic facilities.
Another pro to the electric scooter is parking, which comes at a premium on Bellarmine’s campus. Bird scooters let students park and pick up anywhere as long as the riders log both in and out. With the everlasting parking problem on campus, this alternative form of travel allows students to stop worrying about the parking on campus.
Bellarmine upperclassman Tucker Doherty said: “I own a car, and I still prefer to ride the Bird to school. If I don’t have to worry about parking, then I know it will be a good day.”
Bird scooters have opened the door to inexpensive travel for college students, allowing them to be able to travel around campus and the local neighborhood in a cost-efficient manner. Birds are here to stay on campus.
Why Bird Scooters Are a Bad Idea
By: Grace Potts
Brentley’s opinion is for the birds because when I think of these scooters, two words come to mind: dangerous and inconvenient.
Although Birds just roosted on Bellarmine’s campus this year and in the Louisville area recently, I am already waiting for them to fly south permanently. Contrary to what you may have read previously, not all Millennials want to hop on a scooter and ride it around campus or down Bardstown Road.
Riding on the sidewalks, parking in incorrect spaces, putting two people on a scooter and riding without a helmet are all things Bird users do that pose a danger to the community.
Although it is not Kentucky law, Bird recommends riding with a helmet. According to its website, “Bird encourages all riders to wear a helmet when riding.” However, I have never seen anyone with a helmet on a Bird.
Bird also advises its users to ride in bike lanes or off to the side of the road. According to the website, “Care for pedestrians. No riding on sidewalks unless local law requires or permits – it endangers members of our community who want to walk freely.”
Contrary to Bird’s posted safety guide, people can be seen flying down the sidewalks of Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue, leaving pedestrians in their wake. This use of the scooters puts those in vehicles and pedestrians in a bad position, as they must be aware of Bird riders potentially cutting through parking lots and not abiding by the recommended rules.
Viewed as a mode of convenient transportation, Bird scooters are more of an inconvenience to those who do not use them; Birds are often left in parking spots or in the middle of a sidewalk.
Because of this, the scooters are already scuffed up and most likely will not last long in the hands of college students.
Despite the challenges brought on by misuse in the hands of students, campus security is doing its best to make sure the Birds are flown properly. According to Debbie Fox, director of Office of Public Safety, “Monitoring the scooters is just an extension of what we are already doing.”
Fox said security is following what is outlined in the student code of conduct when it comes to navigating student behavior on the Bird scooters.
Fox said, students should know how to handle proper use of the scooters. “It’s just common-sense stuff,” Fox said.
Though the intentions of the Birds are good, I see the dangers and inconveniences outweighing the benefits. On Baxter Avenue, I often see people riding them drunk or riding without a helmet down the sidewalks. These experiences prove to me that Bird scooters only pose a danger to members of campus and the community.
Maybe Birds are going to nest at Bellarmine permanently as Brentley claims, but if that is true then students need to take safety precautions as directed by Bird and campus security.