UT handing Lime, Bird $150 fine for improperly parked scooters on campus
If you walk around the University of Texas campus, you will likely find students buzzing around on Lime or Bird electric scooters, scrambling to get to class. But it's what happens when students are done using those scooters that has the university's attention.
Now, UT Parking and Transportation Services will impound improperly parked scooters, and hand down a $150 fine to the company who owns that scooter, plus an additional $25 for each day of storage.
The company will then handle who pays that fine.
UT is defining "improperly parked" as any scooter left in the middle of sidewalks or on railings visually impaired students may need.
"We've seen a little bit of that on campus, whether it's students or staff using the scooters. What we're trying to do is educate the campus community, and get in front of the issue before it gets really big," said UT Transportation Assistant Director Blanca Gamez.
Students are on board with these rules.
"It bothers me just as much when I can't get on a ramp because there's a scooter there," said UT freshman Spencer Schumacher.
The university is asking students to dock scooters near or on bike racks, and has put up signs all over campus informing them of the new rule.
Gamez says this is a safety issue.
"We have to be a little more mindful how we operate the scooters on campus. We just need to do it in a safe manner," Gamez said.
Students are willing to follow these rules, if for no other reason, so they don't get hit in their pockets.
"I'm not paying $150, so i'm going to make sure i park in the right spot."
CBS Austin reached out to Lime and Bird.
Lime provided the following statement:
At The University of Texas at Austin, we are working with the UT Parking and Transportation Services department to help educate students on proper riding and parking. We currently have in-app messages going out to riders this week in and around campus in conjunction with UT's internal communications.
In addition, Lime operations team members are on the ground throughout Austin to proactively remove any scooters they come across that are improperly parked and are available to help all riders properly park. We also continue to work with the Austin Transportation Department and Austin Police Department on new, innovative ways to educate and support our riders.
Bird officials released this statement:
“The University of Texas at Austin shares our vision of getting cars off the road to reduce traffic and carbon emissions. We are partnering with University officials to educate riders on the proper way to ride and park Birds. If any scooters are impounded on campus, Bird will partner with University officials to investigate each incident and take necessary action.”