A proposal to provide Durham and the neighboring towns with an electric scooter rental system has been put into motion. Inspired by the bicycle rental systems sprouting up in major cities around the world, the aim is to have scooter rental stations in such towns as Newmarket, Dover, and Durham. For UNH commuters, this plan will provide a green alternative for getting to campus. And with costly parking fees and inconvenient commuting issues, these scooters will provide a wider range of options for students and faculty.
“Parking is a nightmare here on campus,” said UNH junior Julie DeGregorio, “I either have to pay a lot of money or be lucky to find a convenient parking spot for just one 50 minute class.”
The team currently working on the design and prototype concepts for the project is composed of computer engineers Eduardo Estrada and Chris Yellick, who both work for Spectex, a materials and manufacturing company based in Rochester.. The project is currently funded by Ted Fuller, an investor who is dedicated to environmentally friendly methods of commuting, while also aspiring to better the community and enlightening the youth of the importance of going green.
“I can’t say much now, but I can promise you that these scooters will look and function like the future,” said lead computer engineer Eduardo Estrada. “We are currently working on the prototype design and it is rather exciting.”
By obtaining membership in the scooter rental program, individuals will be able to sign up for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly memberships. They will then be allowed access to a scooter for a specific amount of time, which has still yet to be determined.
“We obviously can’t have people taking off with the scooter for hours on end, so we are still calculating a time limit of usage, based either on distance or time,” explained Estrada. “We want to provide something that is efficient, eco-friendly and convenient.”
When asked about the idea of scooter rentals for campus commuting, UNH senior and commuter Molly Anderson said, “[The rental program] sounds fun, and it will definitely open up more options for the unpredictable lives of college students.”
The goal is to have a working prototype on for the UNH campus by the summer of 2017, with plans to expand nationally after initial testing.