Test program for e-scooters and bikes launched in Fort Wayne

(Photo Supplied / City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – VeoRide has launched a test program of e-scooters and bikes today in Fort Wayne.

VeoRide is a shared mobility company that is based in Chicago.  They have recently been issued a permit from the city to being a 16-month pilot program in Fort Wayne.

The program will start with several dozen e-scooters over the next month.  However, no more than 300 e-scooters and 150 bikes will be available in a designated area.

No tax dollars will go toward VeoRide as it is a service paid for by the people who use it.

The bikes and e-scooters operate through the downloadable VeoRide app.  Those who use the service must be 18-year of age or older and are required to have their credit card on file.  The cost of the electric scooter is $1 to unlock it, then $0.15 per minute after that.  Pedal bikes are also $1 to unlock, but then $0.05 per minute thereafter.

Ben Thomas, VeoRide Midwest manager says “We are thrilled to be working with the City of Fort Wayne to provide its residents with a sustainable transportation alternative.  We hope this pilot project helps reduce car emissions and time wasted in traffic, while also providing areas of the city that need more first and last mile commuting options with a quicker, easier and more fun way to get where they need to be.”

These e-scooters will only be allowed to operate and park in certain geographic areas through a technology known as geo-fencing.  If a rider parks the electric scooter in a location outside the geo-fenced area, they will continue to be charged until the e-scooter is parked properly.  Boundaries for the geo-fenced area include downtown Fort Wayne and several near-downtown neighborhood areas.  You can find the map and more information by clicking here.

The Community Development Division for the City of Fort Wayne has been working with a committee that is composed of bike advocates along with Public Works staff, police officers and the public to figure out ways to make shared bikes and e-scooters available in Fort Wayne.

Dan Baisden, planner for the City of Fort Wayne said “Our goals for the pilot program are to increase transportation options for residents; promote travel to local landmarks, restaurants and shops; encourage physical activity; provide options for visitors and tourists to explore our city; improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion; and connect neighborhoods.”

Electric scooters and bikes are encouraged to operate in bike lanes wherever they are available.  Currently, ordinances for the city, allow e-scooters and bikes to use sidewalks.  Bicycles and electric scooters that operate on public streets are required to obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles.  Helmet use is also encouraged for those who use e-scooters and bikes.

VeoRide e-scooters are built for commercial shared use and have unique safety features, including wider ride decks for stability, wider tires for handling rough pavement, mechanical brakes, and front, rear and undercarriage lighting.  The scooters from VeoRide cannot exceed 15 miles per hour.  The e-scooters weigh around 50 pounds and are equipped with a GPS system and an alarm to discourage misuse and theft.

 

 

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