As the fall semester begins, American University students, faculty, and staff will be able to enjoy a new and eco-friendly mode of transportation. Battery-operated scooters powered by 100 percent renewable energy will be available across the university’s main campus, the Washington College of Law (WCL) Tenley campus, and the Spring Valley building thanks to a partnership with Spin, the San Francisco-based micromobility company.
The new green transportation program advances the university’s long-standing commitment to sustainability. In 2018, AU became the first urban university, the first research university, and the largest higher education institution in the United States to achieve carbon neutrality. AU’s sustainability leadership includes 100 percent of campus electricity produced from renewable sources, 10 LEED certified buildings, and nearly 80 percent of commuting students using environmentally friendly modes of transportation. In 2021, SPIN achieved carbon neutrality, making it the first micromobility company to reach that goal. The partnership advances both institutions’ shared sustainability goals.
“Providing SPIN’s best-in-class electric scooters to the AU community enhances our dynamic campus experience for our faculty, students and staff,” said Bronte Burleigh-Jones, CFO, Vice President and Treasurer at American University. “This new partnership offers another efficient transit opportunity for our campus community, reduces the university’s carbon footprint, and decreases traffic congestion.”
Beginning on August 15, Spin e-scooters will become available for rental at marked corrals adjacent to existing bike racks on the AU campus. Riders must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver's license, and download the Spin app.
During Welcome Week, on Aug. 24-25th, SPIN will distribute free helmets to AU students, faculty, and staff on the Quad. After Welcome Week, free helmets will be available upon request. Riders will also be eligible for a 30 percent discount on Overade helmets. More information about this promotion will be included in an email to each user.
As a year-round mode of emission-free transportation, Spin scooters represent an efficient alternative to single occupancy vehicles and will complement AU!s other transportation offerings, including U-Pass, shuttle services, and bike sharing. Scooters located on the AU campus will be part of Spin's DC fleet.
“Our focus is on safety, equity, sustainability, campus and city-friendly innovations, and industry-leading compliance," said Matt Reback, Senior Manager, Campus Partnerships at Spin. "We are thrilled to be in a position to focus on operational excellence in this partnership with American University.”
"American University is continually working to bring more green transportation options to campus,” said Josh Finver, Assistant Director, Transportation Demand Management at American University. "We currently offer a discounted annual Capital Bikeshare membership and an incentive program for those who commute with personal bicycles. In addition, the U- Pass and Lyft RideSmart programs provide sustainable transportation options.”