Spin Commits Up To $2 Million to Support Academic Research on Micromobility with New 'Campus as Living Lab' (CALL) Initiative

Two people stand in front of a large, red U. One is on a scooter, the other on a bike.
  • Spin seeks to partner with major research universities over the next two years, and will invest up to $2 million in university research.
  • Inaugural partners Michigan State University and The University of Utah will resume and kick off research on their campuses this Fall. 
  • Campuses serve as the ideal environment for micromobility research when studying how people move, as they are often dense areas with high ridership and trip distances that support micromobility as the mode choice.

Today, Spin is launching a new initiative to partner with universities who have a research interest in optimizing transportation outcomes in campus environments. Spin’s policy team will work with academic institutions and their faculty to scope and fund projects focused on advancing shared aims, such as modeshift, parking compliance, and safety. In addition to research awards, Spin will also provide and manage its shared e-scooter and e-bike service which will provide data to the researchers, at no charge to universities.  

Spin’s Campus as Living Lab (CALL) initiative will invest up to $2 million in cash support for academic research projects on partner campuses over the next 2 years. Large campuses are a great proxy for urban cores as they tend to be dense areas with high ridership. These environments are ideal “living laboratories” right on the doorstep of academic researchers with enthusiastic students who make excellent research participants.  

This initiative builds upon a model that Spin established with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on the University’s Blacksburg campus where faculty, researchers, and students used Spin’s shared e-scooter program to conduct research related to vehicle and rider safety. Spin looks to replicate this partnership with academic institutions, giving them the platform and funding to conduct practical research and contribute to the body of academic studies on this topic. More broadly, the objective is to improve the potential for micromobility to positively impact transportation outcomes.

“The living lab research model works really well for us, especially on the topic of micromobility because of how popular it is as a service and as a research topic,” said Brice Nelson, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Michigan State University. “This partnership with Spin allows us to provide a popular campus amenity, while also creating research opportunities for students and faculty.”

As part of CALL, Spin is actively supporting research at Michigan State University where faculty and students are developing new ways to transform travel behavior through gamification. Research will also begin this fall at The University of Utah, where the project scope is still being determined. 

“Our aim with the CALL project is to leverage student and faculty brainpower from top Universities to advance shared goals such as modeshift from single-occupancy car trips and improving parking compliance,” said John Lankford, Head of Campus Partnerships. “By situating the research within dense campus environments that see high student ridership, we can conduct experiments that offer high-quality research findings. We love that we can do this in a way that supports the student experience and advances the research mission of our partner institutions.'' 

For more information about this project contact Spin’s Head of Campus Partnerships, John Lankford.

About Spin

Spin, recently acquired by TIER Mobility, operates electric bikes and scooters on North American cities and campuses. Spin launched the first-ever stationless bike share program in the United States and was instrumental in crafting the world’s first mobility permitting system that is now used around the world. Spin consists of a diverse team of experienced professionals from government and private sectors, and the transportation advocacy world, all of whom are committed to fulfilling the company’s mission—to help create a world full of 15 minute cities.

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Spin is transforming cities and communities by offering accessible, affordable and sustainable forms of personal mobility.

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