Following the months-long journey of the rise and eventual regulation of dockless electric scooters in Tempe, ASU has announced that it is now impounding any scooters remaining on campus and enforcing fees against the three major companies in the area: Lime, Bird and Razor.
The fees will start at $100 per scooter and continue to escalate with additional citations reaching $250 at the maximum.
“Starting today, Nov. 16, electric scooters found on campus will be impounded by ASU Parking and Transit Services staff. The scooter companies have been notified that ASU will issue a Code 40 Impound Fee for each scooter found on the Tempe campus," an ASU spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
A map released onto the ASU Business and Finance webpage on Friday displays the new regulation for scooters. There are about 30 designated scooter parking spots that permit exactly 446 scooters nearby campus.
"The University understands that the scooters are a convenient form of transportation for students. Designated parking zones have been established on the outer boundaries of the campus. Scooters can be ridden to the edge of campus and then parked in a designated area,” the spokesperson said.
Any student wanting to use an electric dockless scooter is free to ride to and from any of the new scooter parking spots as long as they do not cross into the campus red zone.
The geo-fencing technology in place from Bird and other scooter companies should prevent scooter use on campus, and the companies have been informed of this change and are carving out the special parking spots on their maps.
An ASU Reddit post broke the news about scooter impoundment but currently, no map of designated parking spots existed leading to users fearing the loss of any scooter usage near campus.
Although the University views the value in the scooters as a convenient form of transportation for students and wanted to provide an area where students could properly park them, the use of electric scooters is a violation of campus policy in place since 1963, and ASU still considers it a safety concern.
Currently, there are plans to create an educational scooter safety campaign that will explain the scooter policy and where scooters can actually be ridden.
Prior to ASU's announcement of plans to begin impounding scooters left on campus, Brandon Cheung, senior manager of government affairs for Razor USA, said the company aims to continue to build a partnership with the University.
“Razor continues to work closely with Tempe officials on current and future rules and regulations that work best for the community," Cheung said in an emailed statement. "We remained committed to maintaining an open and responsive relationship with ASU that reflects the interests of the university and its students."
Razor sends in local crews to ASU twice a day to pick up any scooters that have breached the red zone, according to the company's Tempe operations manager. The government relations team at Razor met with ASU to discuss a solution to the operating on campus prior to the new impounding policy.
A Bird spokesperson said that if any scooters are impounded on campus, Bird will partner with University officials to investigate each incident and take necessary action, adding that Bird provides an in-app tutorial and requires a photo of the scooter at the end of the ride to also prevent parking issues.
"Bird values the feedback from members of the ASU community, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve and evolve our service," the spokesperson said in an email. "To help combat any issues related to the placement and parking of our vehicles on ASU’s campus, we have expanded our Bird Watchers Program. Individuals involved in this program work with local communities to ensure that Birds are parked, ridden and picked up correctly."
Bird also sent out an email to all ASU riders that describes the new rules and designated parking zones. In addition, the company recently launched Community Mode that allows riders to report inappropriate scooter parking.
"While birding on the ASU campus, make sure to follow the campus-specific ride rules — park only in designated areas on campus. Incorrectly parked Birds will be impounded and may result in a fine for any rider not parking in the ASU designated parking areas on campus," the email reads.