Published: Sept. 16, 2019

As electric scooters, or e-scooters, have become more prevalent around the country, the debate around the relatively new mode of transportation has been amplified, and regulations still vary widely from one city to the next. While commercial e-scooters are legal in the city of Denver, for instance, they are currently prohibited in the city of Boulder.

E-scooters are not allowed on campus⁠—except on streets as provided for in state law⁠—and CU Boulder has no plans to allow them at this time.

Campus and city transportation experts, along with the Boulder Chamber, have been working closely over the last few months to explore whether to allow commercial e-scooter companies to operate in the city of Boulder.

University leaders have cited the safety of our campus community as well as concerns about accessibility as main considerations for the current prohibition of e-scooters on campus. Thousands of students, faculty and staff traverse the campus on any given day.

“The CU Boulder campus is a dense hub of pedestrian activity, and the safety and accessibility of our buildings for our campus community members are top priorities,” said Kelly Fox, chief operating officer for the campus. “The addition of e-scooters to our already busy campus pathways has the potential to introduce a host of new risks. We look forward to continued collaboration with the city and the business community to further understand the unique risks on a university campus as the city and business community explore commercial e-scooter operations in the city of Boulder.”

Commercial e-scooters are not currently allowed in the city of Boulder, with a city moratorium on issuing business licenses in place until February 2020. Decisions on whether to allow commercial e-scooters in the city are being explored through a joint working group that has been established.

This fact-finding process includes gathering feedback from the community through an online survey and a series of demo events, including two on campus (one that occurred on Sept. 10 and another coming on Sept. 19). The university remains committed to contributing to this exploration process with the city, though any future campus decisions on commercial e-scooters will be made independently from the city.

Further details of the city of Boulder’s commercial e-scooter exploration, as well as a link to the online survey, can be found on the city’s website.