‘Oh, the places they’ll go’: LINK scooters end up in new, unusual places

Picking up speed, Molly Haymaker, freshman in kinesiology, rides a LINK scooter past Haymaker Hall. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Over the past year, the LINK electric scooters have become increasingly popular with the Kansas State student body, along with Manhattan residents and visitors.

Many students use the LINK scooters to ride around campus on the way to class or through Aggieville with friends and family. But on the weekends, the scooter life becomes a very different story. Some people found a new obsession, using them in other ways besides transportation.

One anonymous example included a student being dared to jump a LINK scooter off the roof of a friend’s house one weekend — clipping the wheel on the gutter and failing to stick the landing. The student was not injured after the failed jump.

The stories do not stop there. Many people send in LINK scooter videos to Instagram accounts like @oldrowkstate and @kstatechicks, and the videos are sometimes featured for a good laugh.

Students are now finding new ways to capture what people do with a LINK scooter, turning it into a competition for students and residents to get creative.

Dorothy Bozinos, freshman in pre-psychology, said she just began riding the scooters this September. She said that other times she and her friends only ride them until the red light turns on.

“One time I was walking back into Ford Hall and there were two scooters just sitting by the front door,” Bozinos said. “I thought it would be a fun little idea to scoot them inside of the dorms and put them in the elevator to see how long it would take for someone to get them out of there.”

Adrienne Tucker, assistant director of parking and transportation services and LINK scooter manager at K-State, has seen a lot of interest in the scooters since students have been back on campus this year.

“As time goes on, we’re seeing less and less of the misuse of the scooters, but I think to a certain degree it is to be expected,” Tucker said. “I think LINK has done a great job at responding and getting the scooters out of the population when they need to be fixed or handling customers or users who have mishandled the scooters. LINK has mentioned that they have suspended a few user accounts for the misuse of the scooters, but they are definitely being responsive.”

Tucker said safety precautions are still very important when riding the scooters, especially when it comes to multiple people.

“I really cringe when I see more than one person on a scooter,” Tucker said. “It’s extremely dangerous, especially when you’re going full-speed down the street and just the smallest bump on the road can cause you to go flying off — which is something that I would hate to see.”

While the demand for the scooters started in 2019, it did not gain popularity until 2021. Officials ask that students and local residents be careful and cautious of their surroundings when on the scooters.

More information and rules about the LINK scooters in the Manhattan area are on the LINK website.