Nearly 150,000 rides recorded to date
On Friday, March 17, the City of Sarasota will mark the first anniversary of micro-mobility service provided through its e-scooter and bicycle-sharing program, city staff has announced.
The city’s operator, Veo, “is reporting record usage in Sarasota with nearly 150,000 rides to date since the program’s launch,” a news release points out.
“The number of people renting the scooters and bikes is exceptional and shows the tremendous interest and need for this mobility option,” said Steve Cover, whose parking and mobility team carried out the City Commission’s vision of offering “a convenient, affordable alternative for first-mile and last-mile trips for visitors and residents,” the release adds. “The scooter and bike-sharing program is part of the citywide mobility plan, Sarasota in Motion,” Cover added in the release, noting, “We couldn’t be happier with the success of the program. It’s helping to take vehicles off the roads.”
The Veo program launched in March 2022 with a mixed fleet of 400 scooters and bicycles; the number increased to 550 vehicles to meet the demand throughout the city, the release points out. Scooter and bike corrals are positioned throughout downtown, St. Armands Circle and North Sarasota, the release adds.
“It’s an accessible and affordable way to make quick trips around the city,” said Mayor Kyle Battie in the release. “Residents use the e-scooters to get to work, run errands and meet up with friends. And, for visitors, it’s a fun way to experience our beautiful city and leave the car behind.”
The vehicles can be activated to rent through the VeoRide app, which is available in the App Store on Apple devices and Google Play, the release explains.
The cost to rent a scooter is $1 to unlock the unit and 37 cents per minute, the release notes. Bike rentals are 50 cents per half hour. Hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Through its Veo Access program, the company does offer discounted rates to low-income users who qualify, the release points out.
Further, “Veo uses geofencing technology to limit use of the vehicles to safe, designated areas,” the release explains. “Scooters and bikes are prohibited on narrow and busy sidewalks.” Additionally, the company employs locally based staff to repair and replace vehicles, return misplaced scooters and bikes to parking corrals, and respond to issues, the release says.
Veo offers seated and stand-up e-scooters, traditional pedal bikes, and a small group of electric bicycles for a pilot program, the release adds. “The Cosmo seated e-scooter is the most popular rental in Sarasota,” the release notes.
“Veo is thrilled to kick off another year in Sarasota with an expanded fleet of vehicles, making it even easier for residents and visitors to choose clean transportation,” said Candice Xie, co-founder and CEO of Veo, in the release. “Whether you’re headed to work or visiting for the weekend, shared scooters and bikes are a fun, convenient way to explore all that Sarasota has to offer.”
Many riders combine use of the Veo e-scooters and bikes with the city’s Bay Runner trolley to reach their destination, the release notes. They take a scooter and then the trolley, for example, or vice versa, for the first or last miles of their trips, the release points out.
The city’s e-scooter/bike rental program and the Bay Runner were honored together in June 2022 by the International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI); the city received an Award of Excellence for innovation with a mobility program.
For more information about the e-scooter and bicycle rentals, visit VeoRide.com or call Veo at 855-836-2256.