Board members approve contract with Veo
New micro-mobility transportation options soon will be available to residents and visitors in Sarasota, after the City Commission on Jan. 18 unanimously approved an agreement with an e-scooter and bike-sharing provider, the city has announced.
Veo, a national company based in Chicago, “was selected as the exclusive operator in designated areas across Sarasota,” a city news release points out. About 350 to 400 scooters — both seated and stand-up models — and 50 to 75 bicycles “(traditional and pedal-assisted)” — initially will be available for rent, “with the company having the option to increase the size of the fleet if usage requirements are met, the release points out.
City staff will be assessing the areas of the city “where scooter and bike corrals may be operated via geofencing and establishing parking corrals,” the release notes. The service is expected to be available in early March.
The rental costs for the scooters will be $1 to unlock them via a mobile app, plus 37 cents per minute, the release points out. “Bike rentals will be 50 cents per half hour,” the release adds.
“Through its Veo Access program, the company also offers discounted rates to low-income users who qualify,” the release says.
The city will receive a share of the company’s revenue as part of the two-year agreement, the release notes.
“We’re overjoyed to be bringing these convenient, safe and cost-effective transportation options to Sarasota,” said Mayor Erik Arroyo in the release. “Having a micro-mobility program will help fill in the gaps in our transportation network for first-mile and last-mile trips to help our citizens get where they want and need to go,” he added in the release. “I’m looking forward to this transformative and successful partnership with Veo.”
As part of the agreement, the company has committed to employing locally based staff members who will be available to repair and replace vehicles, return misplaced scooters and bikes to parking corrals, and respond to any issues, the release continues.
“Many of the industry’s biggest companies responded to the city’s call for vendors, but we were most impressed with Veo’s plan to make this a true partnership and serve the unique needs of our community,” said Parking Division General Manager Mark Lyons in the release.
Veo operates in more than 35 cities across the country, including St. Petersburg and Gainesville, the release notes.
“Our goal at Veo is develop collaborative, long-term partnerships with cities, like Sarasota, to work together to create a sustainable, safe, and equitable transportation future,” said Candice Xie, the Veo CEO, in the release. “Sarasota is a fantastic market for residents as well as tourists and Veo e-scooters and bikes provide eco-friendly options that fill the gap between mass transit, passenger vehicles, and walking,” Xie added in the release.
For more information, visit veoride.com or contact the City of Sarasota Parking Division at 941-263-6475.