On Monday, UW began a program in partnership with NeuronMobility to bring e-bikes and e-scooters to campus, which can now be rented through the Neuron app. Today, students at the Sustainability Office’s annual Bike Fair, held in the DP Arts Quad, had the chance to learn more about the e-bike and e-scooter share program and sample the bikes and scooters firsthand.
Ella Gong, a first-year chemical engineering student, said that she thinks the program is “a cool way to go a short distance” that she would definitely see herself using in the future. “I think it’s a good way for transportation because we have quite limited transportation around here, like, the ION or bus, but that’s actually it,” she said.
Erazmo Popovic, a first-year environmental engineering student at the fair, similarly felt that the e-scooters and e-bikes were worth considering, especially for shorter routes around campus. “They’re relatively cheap in terms of like if you want to get somewhere in fifteen to twenty minutes, and I’d definitely use it if it’s either late at night or early in the morning, and the ION isn’t working.”
Both e-bikes and e-scooters cost $1.15 to unlock and $0.35 per minute for single rides. They can alternatively be rented in 3-day or month-long intervals. NeuronMobility operations supervisor Parth Joshi said that e-scooters and e-bikes were beneficial from both an environmental and efficiency standpoint.
“You don’t have to wait, and it’s very smooth to get where you want to go, and you just have to pick it up and move it over there and can park to the nearest parking slot,” Joshi said.
Another student at the fair, Jack Wang, a third-year accounting, finance, and management student, thought that the NeuronMobility e-vehicles were a nice option for students to have, but ultimately not ones they would opt for themselves. “Personally I would not rent it for one because for one, the campus is not that big, it’s walkable,” Wang said.
Tytus Rapacz, a first-year geological engineering student at the fair, said he would also probably not rent the e-scooters or e-bikes, but called them “pretty fun” in addition to being useful for students who aren’t from the city or don’t already have access to a bicycle. “I think it’s a good opportunity to get around, to get to school if you live off-campus,” Rapacz said. “I also heard that they have memberships you can purchase which is a great initiative because I think just unlocking … 1.50 and 35 cents for a minute is quite expensive.”
Amaechi Iweanoge, a fourth-year economics student agreed that the scooters are “a pretty good way” for students to get around even though he’s someone who mostly drives on campus, but expressed safety concerns for students. “When it’s summer time, it’s not too full but if there’s class ending at 2:20, and there’s gonna be everyone in the hall, and everyone’s driving scooters, it’s a little prone to accidents,” Iweanoge said.
Current safety measures listed include restricting e-bike and e-scooters to select trails outlined on the Neuron app, requiring helmets for all users riding the vehicles, and asking that riders check the brakes before riding. At the end of a trip, NeuronMobility helmets must be dropped off in the Helmet Lock, and scooters must be returned to a nearby designated drop-off hub.
Neuron’s partnership with the university share program is part of a wider attempt to create better sustainability options, and Joshi hopes to see NeuronMobility e-vehicles become more widespread in the future. “Slowly, I believe we will reach every city.”
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.