E-scooters return to U. Central Florida as in-person classes resume

(Tony Webster)

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Electric scooters returned to the University of Central Florida’s campus on Monday after being removed last year due to the pandemic.

The scooters, from the e-scooter company Spin, were originally brought to campus last spring to help students get around UCF’s 1,415-acre main campus more easily, according to the university. But after the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person classes last March, the scooters were removed from campus along with its students.

Now, as UCF students return to campus for limited in-person classes this semester, scooters are once again available, but with new sanitation and safety measures, such as requiring users to complete an online safety test prior to their first ride and a 10-mph speed limit on campus. The university said it will also frequently disinfect its scooters and remind students though the Spin app to wash their hands before and after every ride.

“When COVID hit, we engaged global experts to determine how to keep our riders and staff safe. We’ve also been working closely with UCF students and administration for several months now to develop this new safety plan that we’ll roll out when we re-launch at the start of the spring semester,” Edward Sun, senior operations manager at Spin, said in a press release.

And while Spin paused operations at UCF and other college campuses that closed their doors during the pandemic, including Purdue University in Indiana, Spin was asked to increase the availability of its scooters in several markets, according to the company, to fill transportation gaps after many public bus systems shut down during the pandemic.

The company said it’s also created a “task force” to monitor new COVID-19 guidelines and establish its new procedures using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to ensure riders and the company’s employees stay safe during the health crisis.

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