Traveling in style: Students opt for mopeds to traverse campus
In the past year to travel around campus, students have increasingly used mopeds — a mode of transportation which falls somewhere between a bike and a motorcycle.
The vehicles normally don’t go over 50 miles per hour. Seen in movies like “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” mopeds are a form of transportation for young adults. As their hair blows behind them and their cheeks balloon with the wind, moped-riders get a taste of fresh air.
Students say using mopeds around campus is convenient and eases commutes to classes and meetings.
Nick Vitolano, a senior, has a Honda Ruckus, which he cites as a fairly typical model for students to have. Vitolano would have trouble finding parking when going to class or practice for his cheerleading team, but there would be plenty of motorcycle spots available.
“I see it being used mostly by people who are frustrated with parking and see how convenient it could be,” Vitolano says.
Mopeds can be parked in any motorcycle or regular parking spot on campus, providing more flexible options than other vehicles.
Emily Jardel, a junior, has owned a TaoTao moped for a year, and originally purchased it as an alternative to a car on campus.
“I didn’t have a car but still wanted a way to get to classes and meetings,” Jardel says.
Even though she now has a car, Jardel still prefers to take her moped short distances due to parking options and inexpensive gas.
Mopeds are a more cost-effective alternative to cars while serving similar purposes. Most mopeds only hold one gallon of gas, and both Vitolano and Jardel say they pay about three dollars for gas every two to four weeks.
“My car doesn’t get good mileage in town, so using my moped has been a much cheaper option,” says Vitolano.
While specific laws vary by state, Delaware law doesn’t require that moped owners have insurance or wear a helmet while riding if they are above 16 years old. The rider must have a valid driver’s license, but does not need a specific motorcycle certification. Riders must pay a five dollar registration fee every three years.
According to Delaware state law, mopeds cannot be operated on interstates and can only be used on bike paths if the motor is turned off.
While mopeds have been gaining popularity, students don’t see the community of moped owners growing much larger than it is right now.
“It’s still a little expensive and requires some level of skill to ride,” Vitolano says.
Jardel adds that while she’s seen a lot more the first couple weeks of the semester, she doesn’t expect it to take off.
“We also are on a very walkable campus so I don’t think they will become crazy popular,” Jardel says.