One of the greatest challenges of being on a college campus is figuring out how to get around. Luckily, most colleges provide some form of internal transportation. In addition to the Wolfline, NC State also provides a system of alternative transportation through Lime scooters and bikes, which are offered at a reduced rate for NC State students. It’s become common to see people using these bikes to quickly get to classes without worrying about bus schedules or traffic congestion. While Lime does not require a special license to use and are available to the general public as well as NC State Students, it does require a valid driver's license.
For most students, this isn’t a problem, but for some students, this rule can create a huge barrier to accessing on-campus transportation. Not only are a lot of students without cars, but some students don’t have a driver's license at all. This could be for a variety of reasons and does not necessarily indicate a lack of responsibility. Prohibiting individuals without a driver's license from using Lime creates an unnecessary barrier to accessing transportation and can neglect students who could greatly benefit from the service.
As someone without a driver's license, I understand how difficult it can be to navigate a large campus, especially without a car. However, I am unable to access the Lime service for this reason, despite being over the age of 18. While the Wolfline is great, it can be time-consuming to wait for the correct route or to wait for stops. Also, the Wolfline does not operate during the day on weekends, and hours during the summer sessions are limited.
However, Lime scooters provide a quick and efficient way to get around, a solution that would be ideal for students like me. Limiting access to only those with driver's licenses can negatively impact students for something that may be outside of their control. The very nature of services such as Lime is to make transportation easier, and often those who are most in need of a quick form of transportation are those without a driver license or car.
Safety is certainly a concern, but Lime could implement an age requirement to achieve the same goal. Only allowing those 18 or older to ride would restrict the use of this service to adults who are capable of assuming responsibility for their own safety without limiting access to those who could benefit from the service. Also, because Lime requires a waiver to use the service, the person using the bike already assumes responsibility for injuries or risk. Of course, these rules could be more strictly implemented, which could potentially prevent accidents and keep students safe.
In order to reap the benefits of the efficient transportation that Lime provides, it would be beneficial to expand their service to all adults regardless of whether or not one possesses a driver's license. This would make it easier for more students to use a more accessible and easily navigable campus, which would benefit the entire student body.