Fordham Is Finally Free Of Scooters


On Thursday, Dec. 8, Public Safety sent a community-wide email announcing the ban of e-scooters and e-bikes, effective Jan. 3. The email stated the ban did not just pertain to the use of them on Fordham University property, both on and off campus, but the storage within buildings, walkways and sidewalks as well. In the email, Robert Fitzer, associate vice president of Fordham Public Safety, wrote that “the storage and charging of lithium-ion batteries in residence halls and other University buildings represent a serious hazard, as they may explode, causing injuries and starting fires.” 

The Fordham Ram believes that Public Safety made the right decision to ban e-scooters and protect students, faculty and staff from a potentially hazardous situation. This opinion is only further cemented with the knowledge that New York City experienced close to 200 lithium-ion battery fires in 2022. The number of cases not only doubled from 2021, when there were 104 cases, but has quadrupled since 2020 when there were only 44. Two years is far too short a span of time for cases of these types of fires to quadruple, which begs us to ask the question: why are we seeing such a drastic rise in lithium-ion battery fires? 

A Statista report claims that the demand for lithium-ion batteries is on the rise and is projected to continue doing so over the next decade. Knowing that the demand for lithium-ion batteries is increasing alongside battery-caused fires and prompts the new question of whether or not the increased production has led to a blindspot in safety testing.

The ban of e-scooters and e-bikes from the Fordham campus is not the first time Public Safety has had to ban a form of e-transport. In January 2016, after gaining popularity in the fall 2015, Public Safety banned smart balance boards, otherwise known as hoverboards, from campus. The ban of hoverboards was due to similar concerns surrounding the lithium-ion battery fires these devices caused. If Public Safety already knew about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries and the fires that can come from them, they should have banned e-scooters and e-bikes much earlier. 

Regardless of the time it took to ban e-scooters and e-bikes at Fordham, the Ram is relieved to be rid of them. The scooters not only posed a fire risk, but they were also a disruptive nuisance for any pedestrians on campus as many have almost been run over due to the speed they are driven on campus. The speed capacity for an e-scooter ranges from 15-30 mph while the speed limit on Fordham’s campus caps off at 15 mph. It is unacceptable to allow a vehicle that has the potential to travel faster than a car to be permitted on campus and to invade sidewalks and walkways full of pedestrians. If people are looking for a quick way around campus, bikes would be a safer and less disruptive alternative.

However, not all students are as elated to be rid of e-scooters. Student athletes, the primary users of e-scooters, are now faced with the dilemma of finding a new mode of transportation around campus. The rationale behind student athletes using e-scooters to get around campus was that they were already tired from practice and walking to class or their residence hall was too tiring. It is a given that student athletes participate in often exhausting practices. However, what must be taken into consideration is the size of Fordham’s campus. Fordham is not a massive campus, with nothing being farther than a 10-minute walk away. It is not that taxing to walk anywhere on Fordham’s campus. 

Aside from the pedestrian flow returning to equilibrium, another annoyance the e-scooters posed has been alleviated. Oftentimes, these scooters would be parked, or haphazardly discarded, in the middle of hallways and entryways to buildings. Many could be found blocking the stairs in the McShane Center or propped against the hallway walls. While Public Safety banned scooters inside buildings, they continued to be an annoyance, placed directly outside of many entranceways. 

Apart from the student athletes who use the e-scooters, it seems many students are against the use of e-scooters at Fordham. This ban of e-scooters allows students to breathe a sigh of relief of being kept safe in a variety of different ways.

The Ram, and a majority of the student body, bid a fond farewell to the e-scooters.