FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne’s first-ever rental scooter program has rolled out.
The company behind the program, VeoRide, debuted the public transportation scooters downtown on Friday. The pilot program includes both e-scooters and bikes for rent.
The scooters were placed around downtown Fort Wayne Friday afternoon. Bikes are set to appear at racks in the same area later in the month.
Here’s how works:
- Download the free VeoRide share app and find a pedal bike or electric scooter near you.
- Use the app to scan the bike or e-scooter you choose. That will unlock the unit.
- Ride until your heart’s content.
- When you are done, park the bike at a VeoRide rack or leave the scooter where you’d like. You take a picture of where you leave it.
It will cost $1 to unlock the units from the rack and 15 cents for every minute you ride a scooter. Bikes have a charge of 5 cents per minute.
VeoRide currently has bikes and scooters in more than 40 cities across the country.
The big downtown debut was set for earlier this week but there was an issue at the warehouse where the scooters will be stored.
VeoRide will be putting out 300 electric scooters and 150 pedal bikes that people can rent to get around downtown. Ten percent of those will be placed in low-income areas where the city feels people could benefit the most from this program.
“A lot of people don’t have that mobility option. They don’t have a car or their personal vehicle to get around, like a bicycle or anything like that,” said Ben Thomas, Midwest General Manager for the company. “This is going to solve not only the commuting issue, it’s going to create a lot of social engagement coming down here to Headwaters or coming downtown and enjoying a lot of the businesses. We’re hoping we provide a spark to the community in that way.”
The company has a virtual perimeter around the city that will cause the scooters to shut off should they try and cross it. They also will not work in parts of Promenade and Headwaters Parks, a stipulation that was important to the city to preserve the downtown experience for people on foot.
“One of the biggest things that we value is pedestrians, too, in the city and so we really wanted to make sure that certain areas were, for example in Promenade Park you’re not supposed to ride bikes on the treetop canopy trail and so providing that we were able to hold that off and say this is really for pedestrians to kind of linger and spend more time in, that was really important for us,” said Fort Wayne City Planner Dan Baisden.
Anyone age 13 and older is allowed to ride on the bike and scooters but renters have to be 18 or older. The company also encourages riders of all ages to wear a helmet while they ride as well as keep an eye on their surroundings.
“We always recommend people wear helmets anytime their riding our bikes or our scooters,” said Thomas. “Pay attention to traffic laws. Scooters are considered under Indiana law as the same laws as you would be riding a bicycle so you can ride them on the sidewalks but we also do just recommend people just pay attention to your surroundings”
Each ride is equipped with a light to make for safer travels at night.