FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Rentable scooters will soon be found along downtown sidewalks. A representative for Veo confirmed the company’s 2021 rollout plan begins Thursday.
If all goes to plan, 200 rentable and shared scooters will be dropped off starting Thursday evening, before gradually increasing to 500 rides. VeoRide also planned on making 25-50 bikes initially available before reaching a total of 100 this summer.
The scooters are rented through a phone app. The company representative said free ride credits would be sent out as the scooters return to downtown streets.
The VeoRide scooters are part of a pilot program that was extended after 2020 proved not to be a typical year.
“With the pandemic hitting and the festivals being canceled, we really didn’t get a true scope about what we are capable of doing,” Eric Xayarath said. “But 180,000 rides is still pretty decent, with the amount of ridership that we had. We had over 35,000 new riders for 2020, so we look forward a season where we are kind of back to normal, and we can gauge how well this program is going to be going forward.”
Xayarath told WANE 15 that the company was working to create “hubs” near Promenade Park, Parkview Field and along Pearl Street to encourage riders to drop off and pick up in certain areas. The scooters will still be able to be used, picked up and dropped off in other locations though.
“People come downtown to ride scooters,” Xayarath added. “We get a ton of ridership from citizens of Fort Wayne and from out of the city as well. We want to make sure with new ridership and potential customers who want to ride our vehicles to understand that you still have to obey the laws, make sure that you’re riding in an area that’s available, yielding to pedestrians, making sure you’re following traffic signals, things like that. We look forward to it, looking forward to educating as many customers as possible.”
VeoRide is sticking to its disinfecting plans. Employees planned to clean scooters each time a battery is swapped out on the device.
No tax dollars support the program and Veo is responsible for all equipment and liability, the City of Fort Wayne said. Any questions or complaints should be directed to the City of Fort Wayne’s 311 line, Veo at 855-836-2256 or by emailing email@example.com.