Students, staff and even locals can now take bright orange bikes and scooters at Troy University for a spin.
Spin is a new bike sharing service in Troy. There are currently 25 bikes and 20 scooters at different locations throughout the campus, with some even located in downtown Troy. In addition, Spin has provided 25 spare bikes in case some have to be repaired or replaced.
Anybody with a smartphone can use and pay for the services through the Spin mobile app.
“You just pull your phone out and hit on the app and scan the QR Code,” said Derrick Brewster, the associate dean of student services at Troy University.
In order to use the app, any individual will have to download the Spin app and link their emails along with their credit or debit cards. Emails ending with .edu are charged half the price for bikes. Regular prices are $1.00 for every half an hour on the bikes; for the scooters, it is $1.00 to unlock and $0.15 for every minute it is used. “Right now the students are reacting to it in a positive manner,” Brewster said.
Some students, according to Brewster, reported not being able to use the app on university Wi-Fi.
“We’re talking with IT, and they indicate that the problem has been resolved,” he said.
He also added that anybody experiencing difficulties could easily submit a helpdesk ticket and the IT team would assist them.
Allen Henry, a global business and risk management and insurance major from Huntsville, rented a scooter for the first time last Friday.
“It was actually awesome,” he said. “At first I was kind of skeptical about it because I didn’t know how fast they went or how easy they were to control, but I was actually very surprised by how fun it was to ride.”
According to Henry, the app and its functions work smoothly and have very few difficulties. However, he does not see himself using the scooter for transportation purposes.
“When school starts and lots of people are here, I think the scooters will be kind of hard to use because they do go pretty fast and they are motorized,” Henry said. “If there are people walking all around campus, it would be kind of hard to control or make sure it doesn’t hit somebody.”
The scooters go up to 15 mph.
Henry also has other safety concerns.
“(At Troy), sidewalks have pot holes and cracks,” he said. “I think if we bring more scooters and people start using them, it could become a real problem.”
According to Brewster, there aren’t currently any safety measures implemented. “We’re just asking everyone to be responsible and respectful while using both the bikes and the scooters,” he said.
Brewster also encourages students to use both the bikes and the scooters on sidewalks and to not leave scooters outside the university premises.
For Henry, bikes would be the more preferred mode of transport.
“I do go to the Square a lot, and I think (a bike) would be an awesome tool to have,” he said.
The services come at no cost to the university, and all the income generated will go to Spin.
“If we’re ever going to create a bike culture on campus, we’ve got to do something like this,” said Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves. “We have to put the equipment out there so that people don’t have to buy a bike, then worry about storing it, securing it and everything else.”
Both Reeves and Brewster consider this a win-win situation for both the university and the students.
Besides the Spin program, the university is making updates to its shuttle services. All five routes will run as usual. In addition, the green route and the night shuttle service will have two buses each.
“Hopefully in the near future, we can get a new fleet of buses,” Brewster said.
The scooters will be in service from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Any issue with the app and its services can be resolved by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.