K-State and Manhattan get new LINK Scooters

LINK scooters by Super Pedestrian in MHK
LINK scooters by Super Pedestrian in MHK(WIBW)
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 3:50 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 7:12 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - LINK Scooters is launching scooters to serve the Kansas State University Campus and Manhattan residents.

Kansas State University and the City of Manhattan say they have partnered with LINK, a micro-mobility technology provider, and will launch an e-scooter share program in August as students return for fall classes.

“Many students, faculty and staff have been asking for an e-scooter share program as an easy and energy-efficient way to move about campus and the community. After extensive research of similar programs in other university communities and in collaboration with the City of Manhattan, we’re excited to partner with LINK because we believe that they will provide our students, faculty, and visitors with the safest and most reliable e-scooter share program in the industry” said Linda Cook, K-State Chief of Staff and Director of Community Relations.

LINK says the program will deploy 150 e-scooters and could expand to up to 500 depending on community usage. It says the scooters will not only serve the K-State campus but the City of Manhattan as well.

“We felt LINK e-scooters could really comply with our speed and geofencing requirements. We’re now much more confident about offering micro-mobility in Manhattan because we know our public spaces will be protected,” said Jared Wasinger, Assistant to the City Manager. “That, coupled with how LINK manages their fleet through dedicated, local employees will make for a solid deal.”

LINK says it has also partnered with Green Apple Bikes, a non-profit community bike-share program in Manhattan. It says through the partnership they will work to make sure that the e-scooter program complements the bike share program and reaches diverse audiences in Manhattan, not just K-State staff and students.

“We’re ecstatic to partner with LINK and believe that we can enhance both scooter-share and bike through our innovative partnership,” said Jonathan Rivers, executive director of Green Apple Bikes.

LINK says at K-State the program will be managed by Adrienne Tucker, Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Services.

“We really did try to get all the key stakeholders involved, from the city level, the downtown district, Aggieville, of course, the university and ask them specifically, you know, what areas do you not want to see scooter traffic in.” Super Pedestrian, area operation manager, TJ Dunivan says.

According to the micro-mobility service, anyone over the age of 18 will be able to rent dockless e-scooters around the city and on the K-State campus. It says to use the scooters, residents need to download the “LINK - Scooter Sharing” app on their mobile devices. It says it only costs $1 to unlock an e-scooter and 25 cents per minute to ride.

“We applaud K-State’s and Manhattan’s commitment to connecting the community through alternative transit. We are excited to offer K-State and Manhattan our next-generation vehicles and an additional open-air transportation option at a time when it’s needed most.” Assaf Biderman, CEO, LINK, said.

LINK boasts a smooth, sturdy ride on the scooter’s 10 in. wheels, wide handlebars and low center of gravity. It says its Vehicle Intelligence System monitors the vehicle in real-time to optimize rider safety. The company also says the scooters store maps and a geo-fence that will avert non-compliant riding and parking.

LINK says to keep the following safety tips in mind while riding:

  • Wear a helmet.
  • One rider per e-scooter.
  • Ride in a bike lane when available.
  • No riding on sidewalks in Aggieville and Downtown.
  • Always be aware of pedestrians and cars.
  • Park mindfully, and when possible, in designated areas.

LINK, K-State and the City of Manhattan say they suggest riders take extra safety precautions to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say to always wear a helmet, but to also bring disinfecting wipes to clean high touch surfaces such as grips, breaks and throttle. They say to remember to wear a mask when not able to socially distance and wash hands after riding a shared vehicle to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus as much as possible.

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