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City’s All-New Mobility Share System will Include Pedal Bikes and Scooters

Staff have worked to identify a new vendor to operate a pilot shared mobility program offering traditional pedal bikes as well as e-bikes and scooters. After evaluating available options, City staff and our bike share partners chose VeoRide to recommend as the preferred vendor for the new system. VeoRide serves cities and university campuses across the country with programs that offer a mix of vehicles types, including pedal bikes, e-bikes, fat-tire bikes, cargo bikes, ADA-compliant bikes and electric scooters, depending on the community’s needs.

VeoRide would launch within the footprint of the existing mBike system and serve the City, UMD campus, and Town of University Park. Current mBike stations to be replaced by VeoRide hubs that co-locate bike and scooter parking in familiar locations. After the initial launch, more hubs can be added where the need for expanded service has already been identified. Soft launch building to an initial fleet of 70 pedal bikes, 150 e-bikes, and 70 scooters Pedal and electric bikes can be parked at any bike rack, promoting flexibility. If bikes are improperly parked, the last user will receive a notification of improper parking behavior, and repeat offenders may be assessed a fine and their account may be suspended or canceled. Electric scooters must be parked within designated “hubs” delineated by painted boxes or decals. Using geofencing technology, riders will not be able to end their rides outside of a hub without accruing charges and the potential for account suspension or cancellation.

VeoRide has found that users typically prefer pay-as-you-go plans to memberships; this has been the City’s experience with mBike riders as well. VeoRide offers pedal bike memberships at $25.99 per month or $99.99 per year, but does not currently offer membership options that cover all three modes. Pay-as-you-go pricing is as follows:
follows:

Fares Unlock Cost Per Minute
Pedal Bike $1 $0.05
E-Bike, Scooter $1 $0.15
Access Program (Reduced Fare) $0 $0.05 (pedal bike); $0.15 (e-fleet)
New User $1 Free: Four 15-minute rides

The VeoRide program is offered at no cost to the City. There may be minimal costs associated with converting the mBike stations into VeoRide hubs and adding new hubs to the system, and for accessible bikes. These expenses would be offset by the money owed to the City by Zagster and the current balance of $227,135 in the Bikeshare CIP

VeoRide is expected to launch in late August or early September. A soft launch is to occur at the beginning of August.

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2 Comments to “City’s All-New Mobility Share System will Include Pedal Bikes and Scooters”

  1. By Jen Matis, July 8, 2019 @ 1:52 pm

    It’s unclear to me how the hubs will work. With only 75 regular bikes and dockless drop-off permitted, I’m worried that it will be hard to find an available bike when I get off the metro in the evening. I know many people, myself included, were hoping that College Park would join the Capital Bikeshare system.

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, July 8, 2019 @ 3:42 pm

    Hi Jen, Thanks a lot for your comments. The VeoRide employee will keep track of the vacancy at the stations remotely and will rebalance bikes / scooters as needed. This will ensure availability of bikes and scooters at all stations at any given time of the day.

    The contract with VeoRide is for one year. Staff has been exploring partnering with the Capital bikeshare. Unfortunately, due to cost and other reasons, a partnership with them couldn’t be worked out. That said, the the County is expanding the Capital bikes bikeshare in College Park. There will be three stations in downtown College Park initially, and possibly more in future.