In 2019, the City teamed up with Veo to bring micromobility (like bikes and scooters) to College Park residents. They started with a one-year trial approved by the Council through Resolution 19-R-12. This trial got extended because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the City, the University of Maryland, and the Town of University Park, all part of this collaboration, decided to keep it going until 2022. After tweaking the trial, the three parties agreed to a Mobility Share Agreement on June 8, 2022, which lasts for three years
The pilot program and Mobility Share Agreement (MSA) have clear rules about where to park, how to help residents, and how quickly to solve reported problems. Since the City joined the MSA in June, people like residents, staff, and Council members have shared problems with handling wrongly parked vehicles on time. There have also been challenges with making sure the forced parking system works as intended, stopping vehicles from parking where they shouldn’t, like in front of houses or blocking sidewalks. Because of these issues, City staff got a lot of comments and concerns. To understand the problem better, they organized a one-on-one meeting with Veo, the micromobility partner.
In short, it turned out that Veo didn’t use the forced parking system as the contract required. This happened because of a misunderstanding caused by changes in Veo’s staff during the negotiations with the City. Once the confusion was fixed, Veo made sure the forced parking was working just a few days later. Since then, City staff have seen a big drop in parking problems reported by residents and by themselves. Before the fix, in an 8-day period in October, there were 26 parking issues, resulting in a fine of $910 to Veo. But after the forced parking was put in place, there have been no fines, and any reported problems are fixed quickly, within 2 hours, as the contract says.
Fixing this problem shows that Veo is a trustworthy partner with the City, dedicated to providing more transportation choices for our residents. This helps more people enjoy all the great things the City has to offer. Also, the City staff is currently working on setting up more Veo parking spots, as approved by the Council in August 2023.