Campus News

These Birds Don’t Have Wings, But They’re Landing on Campus Aug. 1


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2020)  Bird e-scooters are landing at the University of Kentucky and in the City of Lexington in August. The electric scooter company will soon begin releasing its e-scooters at bike racks throughout campus.

Bird was recently chosen as the university’s preferred e-scooter vendor, which means the company will deploy and rebalance e-scooters on campus to make them accessible to the community. Bird’s e-scooters will also be an option on the menu of benefits available to eligible UK Commute Club members.

Bird provides a natural way to support physical distancing as riders across the U.S. are Birding again for their essential trips, which are notably longer Bird rides than pre-COVID-19, and finding it is a natural way to physically distance. Learn more about Bird’s sanitation measures here.

In addition, Bird’s  Warm Up mode is now available and great for new riders or those who just want to cruise. This feature offers a gentle acceleration option that helps riders feel comfortable and build confidence. 

“We’re excited to diversify the transportation options to help students, employees, and visitors get to, from, and around the University,” said Sandra Broadus, UK Transportation Services’ alternative transportation manager. “Bird is a leader in the shared e-scooter industry, and we’re looking forward to partnering with them to make car-free access to campus easier.”

E-scooters first launched in Lexington in October 2019, and have been immensely popular for serving transportation needs, with 45% of all trips city-wide ending on UK’s campus. E-scooter usage is expected to be popular again this semester as students and employees begin returning to campus, so it’s important that riders follow proper etiquette and practice responsible riding:

  • E-scooters on campus must be parked at bike racks. Don’t leave the scooter in the middle of a sidewalk or block a public pathway.
  • E-scooters are not allowed inside buildings on UK’s campus.
  • E-scooters are permitted to ride on sidewalks on campus, but they are not permitted on sidewalks off campus. 
  • Always yield to pedestrians and be courteous. This could include dismounting during class changes or other periods of high congestion.
  • E-scooters are permitted in bike lanes and must follow the rules of the road like any other vehicle.
  • Don’t double ride! While it’s fun to flock with friends, make sure you’re riding solo, and keep physically distanced from others.
  • Stay alert and save the selfies and music until after the ride.
  • Helmets are highly recommended while riding an e-scooter.

A good general rule is to operate and park e-scooters as you would a bicycle.

Like other shared mobility services, Bird e-scooters can be ridden by downloading the Bird app and creating an account with your email address.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.