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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Scooter guy speaks

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Taylen Mongiovi ’25 purchased his first electric scooter in the sixth grade.

The streets of New York are no joke. You must live by a basic code: stay in your lane, look down, keep moving, don’t draw attention to yourself. Taylen Mongiovi ‘25, a Manhattan native, takes a different approach.

He sticks to his lane, albeit he prefers the bike lane, but his two-wheeled mode of transportation has no pedals and begs for attention.

Mongiovi rides his scooter. Everywhere.

“You won’t really see me walking around,” Mongiovi said in an interview after a dinner event celebrating sustainable transportation. “I’ve always been a guy who likes to be efficient.”

And efficient he is. Mongiovi claims his scooter can reach up to 40 miles per hour – “it’s grossly overpowered,” he said, noting he’d never even tried to reach its limit for fear of dying. He can get across Lafayette’s campus in about a minute.

“I’ll leave at like 9:03 a.m. expecting to get to my nine o’clock class,” Mongiovi said. “That’s my problem.”

The scooter, according to Mongiovi, is essential for his New York lifestyle. It basically functions as a car and, in most cases, substitutes for public transportation.

“No gas, no parking,” Mongiovi, an economics major, said. “Parking in New York … ​​it was an economic decision.”

Mongiovi’s scooter origin story began in middle school when he was gifted a “little push Razor scooter.” By the time he reached the sixth grade, Mongiovi needed an upgrade.

“I wanted something with a little more power, so I saved up like two hundred bucks and I got my first electric Razor scooter,” he said.

That little green scooter served as Mongiovi’s commuter vehicle for a number of years, allowing him to “scoot around the city” to jiujitsu classes and catch the sunset on the Hudson River. Over time, however, Mongiovi required a more capable machine.

“As I’ve gotten older and bigger, my vehicles have gotten faster and bigger,” he said. Nowadays, Mongiovi rides a Chinese scooter called the Yume D4 that he bought on Amazon for $1,000.

“I mean, it’s really changed my life,” Mongiovi said. “It’s fast. It’s convenient. And most of all, it’s fun.”

The Yume is covered with “weeb stickers” and remote-controlled LED mood lights that are connected to a mobile battery pack zip-tied to the steering column. Additionally, he has installed a GPS tracker, a headlight that can be plainly seen from across the Quad and an additional horn loud enough to be heard by a motorist. 

“Some people will hear me beeping around,” Mongiovi said. “You know, that’s how I say hi.”

Mongiovi has received outsized attention for what he refers to as his “scootering antics.” Prem Kumar ‘26, a friend of Mongiovi, laughed nervously when asked about said antics.

“I think it’s cool,” Kumar said. “I’ve never ridden it because I’m afraid of falling.”

But where Mongiovi is perhaps most famous, or some would say infamous, is Yik Yak, an anonymous social media site. On Lafayette’s campus, there are dozens of Yaks dedicated to “scooter kid.”

“20 pard dollars to whoever throws scooter kid’s scooter into the Bushkill,” one February YikYak read, in reference to the creek that runs nearby campus.

Another Yik Yak from April threatened to “strap a jet engine” to the back of Mongiovi’s scooter and send him flying “into the sky like mf team rocket.”

Mongiovi’s thoughts on the Yik Yaks? They don’t bother him. In fact, he keeps a Google Photos album of screenshots of Yik Yaks about him. His Yik Yak avatar is a scooter emoji.

“A couple of people are not too fond of how I operate my scooter,” Mongiovi said. “I mean, I’m zipping around.”

Mongiovi’s love for scootering has spread to those close to him, including his girlfriend.

“You would never think she would be a scooter girl but I, of course, over the years have gotten her into it,” he said. 

Not only has scootering allowed Mongiovi to elevate his love life, but his professional life has also seen a boom because of the scooter. Mongiovi happens to be a DJ, who goes by DJ Tay.

“You won’t believe how much stuff I can carry,” he said. “That’s probably like 70 or 80 pounds with audio equipment on there.”

Mongiovi said that he often is booked back-to-back for his DJing, but that is not an obstacle.

“I had one event [end] at 6:30. Another event started at 6:30. I was on time,” he said. “Another event ended at 7:30, [the next] started at 7:30. I was there at 7:31. So, you know, I can do the impossible.”

Not all has been rosy for Mongiovi, however. Last month, as he was using the restroom, he heard the alarm that he had installed on his scooter going off down the hallway of his dormitory. When he arrived at the scene, Mongiovi saw that the wire for the horn had been cut and the rear tire had been slashed.

“Apparently there’s somebody who isn’t very fond of my antics,” he said. “There’s no way that could have happened just from an act of God.”

True to his efficient form, Mongiovi was back on the road within half an hour. He had a spare tire in his bedroom.

“There was also a joke on Yik Yak that was like, ‘As much as you may not like scooter boy, he’s got a faster turnaround time than PSafe,’” Mongiovi said.

View Comments (3)
About the Contributors
Trebor Maitin
Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
Pennsylvania enthusiast.
Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

Comments (3)

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  • A

    Anti-Scooter GuyMay 5, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    He needs to stop riding that scooter indoors at the very least. I’m more worried about him hurting someone else than himself.

  • A

    AidanMay 5, 2023 at 11:56 am

    I waited a half an hour for dj tay on the quad and he didn’t play. Dissapointed.

    • S

      Student of lafayetteMay 6, 2023 at 11:05 am

      I saw that he’s gonna be playing tmw night