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Electric scooters not allowed on UTEP campus yet

Jake Deven
Glide Ambassadors testing the electric scooters

Dockless electric scooters are now allowed in a certain area of El Paso, but not on the UTEP campus despite students riding them from class to class.

Glide CEO Jonathan Lopez said they are working with UTEP to hopefully get the scooters rolling on campus.

Glide, a local electric scooter company, became the first company to comply with the City of El Paso and be a part of their 12-month pilot program.

Lopez said he fell in love with the concept of dockless electric scooters after visiting San Diego with his wife and one of his business partners last year.

“(We) thought, man, this would be something that would be great to bring to El Paso and specifically to the UTEP area,” Lopez said.

Glide officially launched their dockless scooter program back in October of 2018, The Prospector reported October 9.   

Glide’s plan was to start rolling their scooters out slowly giving El Pasoans a chance to adapt to the scooters as well as providing lessons on how to operate the scooters safely.

“When we announced in October we talked to the city and we let them know that other (scooter) companies don’t really ask for permission. They may just come in and drop scooters without permission,” Lopez said.

Bird — a scooter company out of California — did just that. Shortly after Glide’s launch event, Bird dropped off several dozen scooters around the UTEP campus but was later asked by city officials to remove them making things a bit more difficult for Glide in terms of rolling out their scooters smoothly.

The city spent months discussing issues and addressing their concerns regarding the scooters, something Lopez said he did not anticipate. Several concerns included clutter on El Paso’s streets and safety.

“It was just a lot of moving parts. And that’s why it took a while. Ultimately we’re happy with where things are,” Lopez said. “I’m really glad that worked with (the city). I’m glad that we were city friendly, because that’s what we want to be going forward. That’s what we’re doing with UTEP right now.”

Lopez told The Prospector that they have been in contact with UTEP administration since December. While scooters are not allowed on campus, Lopez said the company has been monitoring the UTEP area.

“That’s why we have the Glide ambassadors. They’re out there picking them up, taking them outside of campus all day. “We’re eager to get that going so that we can start allowing all the students and faculty to start using them on campus as well.”

Other University of Texas campuses, like UT Austin, allow the scooters but there’s no system-wide policy. It is up to the individual universities to implement any policies.

In 2018, dockless scooter companies like Lime and Bird dropped off hundreds of dockless scooters in Austin which ended up on and near the UT Austin campus.

The city of Austin underwent a similar process as the city of El Paso. Austin city officials asked Bird and Lime to remove their scooters and were allowed to bring them back after city officials passed temporarily regulations.

UT Austin later underwent several negotiations with Lime and Bird.

The Prospector reached out to the UTEP administration for comment on when and if dockless scooters would be allowed on campus.

UTEP administration said they are not yet ready to release a statement regarding the scooters.

Lopez said he hopes to build a relationship with UTEP and give students the opportunity to use the scooters as another means of transportation.

“All of us are UTEP alumni and we remember what it was like of having to park far or having a walk from the College of Business to the Union. And we just thought this would be something great to bring for (students).”  

For more information about Glide, visit their website or download the app available on The Apple App Store and Google Play.

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Electric scooters not allowed on UTEP campus yet