BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University is taking matters into their own hands when it comes to electric scooters
Last month, Bird launched 100 scooters in Bloomington, followed by Lime launching in the city a few weeks later.
“Yeah, I definitely have ridden them already," said student Victoria Waller. "They’re pretty cool and very convenient to use.”
“They’re a blast," said another student Johnny Balok. "You get to class in two minutes and you can go around in your afternoon time and have a really good time on the scooters.”
While their arrival has been favorably received by many, the scooters are causing problems for others, mainly with where they've been parked.
"They are just kinda placed in random areas," said Waller. "I know there's something with the Birds that you have to put them in a certain area, but no one really follows those.”
Between the two companies, it's estimated that about 800 scooters are on the streets of Bloomington. However, not all of them are on the streets.
Fed up with the parking problems, IU began impounding scooters parked illegally, collecting more than 220 Bird and Lime scooters in nearly two weeks.
“Really what we’re trying to alleviate is the problem of them being left in the middle of the sidewalk, being left in the middle of a bush, being left someplace where it’s an impediment to other people,” said university spokesperson Chuck Carney.
The school says any scooter not parked on or near a bike rack could be impounded. So far, Bird has paid to collect just 15 scooters. Depending on the violation, fines range between $40 to well over $100 per scooter. Collecting them all will come at a big price for Bird and Lime.
“Well it’s a significant chunk of change certainly," said Carney. "We think that that should be incentive enough to make sure that the companies emphasize that these need to be put away properly.”
While many students love the scooters, some say it’s still a problem. Even the most avid riders think the school is doing the right thing.
“I don't really blame them," said student Dain Whaley. "There are hundreds of kids riding around campus. Kids are falling all over the place.”
“I think it's a good thing honestly," said Waller. "They're kinda dangerous and I could see a lot of liability coming from it.’