Although Kenyon’s campus is entirely walkable, students use many modes of transportation to get around campus. Mixed in with the bikes seen on Middle Path, some students have begun using electric scooters to get to their destinations faster than they could on foot, and with less physical exertion. These scooters, which are commonly used by commuters in many cities, are an eco-friendly and relatively safe mode of transportation that are growing in popularity on Kenyon’s campus.
It is no coincidence that electric scooters have shown up on Kenyon’s campus. In 2017, companies like Lime and Bird began offering electric scooter sharing services, which have since grown in popularity. Scooter ridership increased from 38.5 million in 2018 to 88.5 million in 2019. Now, over 100 cities in the United States offer electric scooters for use.
Student-athlete Dustin Lee ’25 decided to purchase an electric scooter mainly because he wanted a quicker way to get down to the athletic fields, as they are a lengthy walk from his dorm. Despite the shortened travel time, there are a few disadvantages that Lee has experienced in his time using his scooter. “An issue I have with it is that it doesn’t work so well in the rain,” Lee said. Lee also mentions that he has to carry a relatively heavy lock for wherever he parks it.
Another electric scooter owner Isaac Ko ’25 likes that it allows him to get to class in just about two minutes. Like Lee, Ko finds his scooter useful for riding up from the Lowry Center, especially after a difficult practice or lift. “Riding a scooter up the hill rather than walking after being challenged physically is really nice,” Ko said.
Anne-Duncan Enright ’25 does not own a scooter but wishes she did, as she likes the vibe they add to the campus. Seeing all of the students on their electric scooters makes Gambier feel more metropolitan, fast-paced and technologically advanced. They are also convenient in that they don’t need to be left outside but can be folded and stored in dorm rooms.
While sightings of these scooter users are still rare, their ability to get students from point A to point B quickly and effortlessly may make them an even more popular mode of transportation around Kenyon’s campus in the coming months.