Photo of an individual riding an electric scooter during a demo at Toby's Plaza

Electric scooters come to Cleveland: What to know about staying safe on the new devices

A new mode of transportation has arrived in Cleveland: dockless, electric scooters.

Earlier this month, the city launched a six-month pilot program that will allow four companies to operate these scooters in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County: Bird, Lime, Spin and VeoRide. (Some electric bikes also will become available in the coming months.)

As intriguing as this new option is, at Case Western Reserve University, the community’s safety is paramount. While the scooters will be able to operate on campus, there are several safety guidelines—that follow the City of Cleveland’s recommendations and rules—to keep in mind.

Representatives from the Student Sustainability Council, the Office of Energy & Sustainability’s student Sustainability Ambassadors and Undergraduate Student Government helped create a video to remind the community how to stay safe when riding scooters.

General scooter information

  • To use a scooter, you’ll need to download the company’s app (Bird – Enjoy the Ride, Lime – Your Ride Anytime, Spin – Electric Scooters and VeoRide).
  • Scooters will only operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
  • Overnight, the scooters will be charged and placed at “rebalancing locations,” where they will be available for riders in the morning.

Safety tips

  • Scooters should be ridden on the street, except to park at a bike rack on campus.
  • Scooters’ maximum speed is 12 mph.
  • Just as with bikes, drivers should give scooters 3 feet of space when passing.
  • If riding a scooter, assume motorists won’t be looking for you, and especially use caution near parking garage exits.
  • Ride defensively and be predictable, making sure you ride with traffic, signal in advance of turning and follow traffic laws.
  • Always wear a helmet. Helmets are available for purchase at the Thwing Center service counter during regular business hours for $12.
  • Low-cost helmets also are available via the scooter companies’ apps, typically after using their brand of scooter one time. For example, Bird makes helmets available for $1.99 to cover shipping costs to its users.
  • Do not wear headphones, so you can listen for warnings.
  • Be mindful of pedestrians, who have the right-of-way at all times.
  • When passing pedestrians, slow down, give them 3 feet and audibly signal by saying “passing on the left.”

Parking and storage

  • Scooters are GPS-monitored by their respective companies.
  • When riding on campus, park at or near campus bike racks.
  • In other parts of the city, parking rules may vary; painted scooter parking boxes will often be the preferred spot.
  • Use the companies’ apps to guide you to recommended parking locations. 
  • Scooters cannot be ridden, charged or stored in any CWRU-owned buildings.

A demonstration is scheduled with Bird Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kelvin Smith Library Oval.