By Dixie Reid
An addition to the options for commuters to and from Sacramento State promises to be an eco-friendly ride with the bonus of cutting-edge geofencing technology.
Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 22, a new fleet of Spin electric scooters will provide the University community with the latest in what is called “first-mile, last-mile” transportation.
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San Francisco-based Spin is the first shared electric-scooter company to sign a contract with the University, initially deploying up to 200 of its signature orange-and-black two-wheelers to campus. The company, whose parent corporation is Ford Motor Co., will deploy its scooters elsewhere in Sacramento, but the University is considered the center of the rollout.
Spin will introduce its third-generation Max scooters during a safety demonstration and helmet giveaway from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Spin scooter fleet and charging hubs will be housed at the campus’ four bicycle compounds. Spin scooters also will be placed at various locations around town, including at the nearby 65th Street light rail station.
As a part of its contract with the University, Spin has established an electronic geofence around campus to prevent the scooters from entering the pedestrians-only zone of the central campus. Geofencing uses a scooter’s GPS to automatically shut it off when it crosses a specific geographic line.
“It’s a critical safety feature for our campus community,” said Gary Rosenblum, associate vice president for Risk Management. “We see the scooters as a commuting tool, as an alternative to automobile traffic in and out of campus.”
Sac State is the first in the CSU, and only the second campus in California, to offer Spin scooters. The company has a presence on 15 other college and university campuses around the country.
To rent scooters, riders will download the Spin app on their smartphones and unlock the two-wheelers by scanning their unique QR codes. Spin charges $1 to unlock a wheeled device, plus 20 cents per minute of riding time.
The Max scooter, manufactured by Segway Ninebot, is built for comfort, the company says, with air-filled pneumatic tires (similar to bicycles) and a 6-inch-wide platform. Safety features include high-visibility LED front and back lights, ambient lighting beneath the carriage, and a dual-technology braking system.
The scooter’s maximum speed is 15 mph, and it typically can travel up to 38 miles between charges.