E-scooters are returning to Fort Wayne, and this year they will be joined by pedal bikes that can also be rented for short trips.
Veo, a shared mobility company based in Chicago, today released 300 e-scooters that were in storage for the winter months, as well as 150 new pedal bikes to the near downtown area. The e-scooters and bikes will be available beginning at noon today, Friday, March 13. This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, there will be a curfew in place due to the St. Patrick’s Day Holiday. The e-scooters and bikes will not be available 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. on those days.
Veo, which recently changed its name from VeoRide, was issued a permit from the City of Fort Wayne’s Right of Way Department as part of a 16-month pilot program that will end in December 2020. After the pilot period has ended, City staff and stakeholders will evaluate the program to determine if it should continue, if changes should be made or if it should be discontinued. No tax dollars support the program and Veo is responsible for all equipment and liability.
The e-scooters were released in September last year and taken off the streets in December. During that time, more than 18,000 people rode the e-scooters more than 46,000 times during those months.
“We were pleased with the public’s reception to the e-scooters last fall and are looking forward to the introduction of the bikes this spring,” said Paul Spoelhof, director of Planning & Policy. “In addition to contributing to an active and exciting downtown, we believe the program will provide alternative transportation options for people who either don’t have a car, or choose not to use one.”
How to ride:
• The e-scooters and bikes operate through the Veo app downloaded to smart phones. Riders should download the app and follow the instructions.
• Customers must be 18 years of age to ride e-scooters and 16 to ride the bikes. They are required to have a credit card on file and are strongly encouraged to wear helmets.
• The cost of the electric scooters is $1 to unlock and then an additional $0.20 per minute thereafter. Pedal bikes are $1 to unlock and then an additional $0.05 per minute to ride after that.
Where to ride:
• The e-scooters and bikes will only be allowed to operate and park in a certain geographic through technology known as geo-fencing. This ride zone includes all of downtown and nearby neighborhoods. (see map.)
• The ride zone has been expanded just slightly from last fall to include the University of Saint Francis main campus as well as several more neighborhoods to the north and south of downtown. Promenade Park and the Headwaters Park pavilions remain no ride zones.
• The app shows riders the no ride zones and if they enter the area, the e-scooter will slowly come to a stop. The bikes may operate in no ride zones, just like personal bikes, but are encouraged not to. If the e-scooters or bikes are parked in no ride zones, the customer will continue to be charged for the ride until they park the bike or e-scooter properly.
Rules of the Road:
• E-scooters and bikes are encouraged to operate in bike lanes where available.
• Under current ordinance, both e-scooters and bikes are allowed on sidewalks, but riders MUST YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS.
• E-scooters and bicycles operating on public streets are required to obey the same traffic laws as a motor vehicle.
• Helmets are strongly encouraged.
• Riders are encouraged to park the e-scooters and bikes near existing public bike racks and benches and parallel to the curb. ADA accessibility guidelines require 4½ feet of clearance on a sidewalk for wheelchairs.
• The Veo app requires riders to take a photo of the e-scooter or bike before ending their ride; riders who park improperly may be fined by Veo.
Reporting a Concern:
• Veo has a locally hired support team in Fort Wayne who will respond to calls about its e-scooters and bikes. Anyone who needs to report a concern with a Veo e-scooter or bike should call 855-836-2256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veo, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the micromobility industry’s fastest growing and most innovative companies. With its unique swappable-battery technology, Veo designs and manufactures e-scooters that are built for the rigors of shared use, last longer and are safer to charge than the consumer-grade models on the market. The company has dozens of cities and universities nationwide currently using its mobility share programs and is adding additional municipalities every month. For more information, please visit http://www.veoride.com.