Tag Archives: bikes

Scooter and Bike Share Program Coming to Sarasota

Scooter and Bike Share Program Coming to Sarasota

Sarasota, FL – New micro-mobility transportation options will soon be available to residents and visitors of Sarasota after the City Commission on Monday approved an agreement with an e-scooter and bike sharing provider.

Veo, a nationwide company based in Chicago, was selected as the exclusive operator in designated areas across Sarasota. About 350-400 scooters (both seated and stand-up) and 50-75 bicycles (traditional and pedal-assisted) will initially be available for rent, with the company having the option to increase the rental fleet if usage requirements are met.

City staff will now be assessing areas of the City where scooter and bike corrals may be operated via geofencing and establishing parking corrals. The service is expected to be available in about 45 days.

Rental costs for scooters will be $1 to unlock them via a mobile app, and 37 cents per minute. Bike rentals will be 50 cents per half hour. Through its Veo Access program, the company also offers discounted rates to low-income users who qualify.

The City will receive a share of the company’s revenues as part of the two-year agreement.

“We’re very excited to be bringing these convenient, safe and cost-effective transportation options to Sarasota,” said Mayor Erik Arroyo. “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. I’m looking forward to a long and successful partnership with Veo.”

As part of the agreement, the company has committed to employing locally based staff who will be available to repair and replace vehicles, return misplaced scooters and bikes to parking corrals and respond to any issues.

“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.

Veo operates in more than 35 cities across the country, including St. Petersburg and Gainesville here in Florida.

For more information, visit veoride.com or contact the City of Sarasota Parking Division at 941-263-6475.

About the City of Sarasota:  Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse and inclusive community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles.  Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov

New Yorkers Still Loving Transportation by Bicycle

A young African American man explores New York City with his fixed gear bicycle. One World Trade Center visible in skyline behind him.COVID-19 saw a boost to micro-mobility and to biking in cities and urban areas in particular. Those numbers continue to climb, at least in New York City, where more and more residents, visitors, and commuters are embracing two-wheeled transportation through the city.

“Cyclist counts on East River bridges climbed to an average of 25,431 per day in June, 11.4 percent higher than June 2020, which was already well ahead of pre-pandemic 2019 numbers, according to the Department of Transportation,” reported the New York Post this weekend.

The city is planning to add more bike trails and lanes in the future, as micro-mobility continues its increase in popularity. Read the whole story here.


Ways Cities are Leveraging Micro-mobility for Good

Micro-mobility–shared scooters, bikes, etc.–is proving fantastic for getting people around, particularly in a COVID world. But a new resource says cities have evolved in the way they work with the vehicles and social good is coming from that.

The Micro-mobility Policy Atlas, developed by the Shared-use Mobility Center, New Urban Mobility Alliance, and World Resources Institute, tracks more than 100 micro-mobility policies in 25 countries, and shows trends, including:

  • Equity mandates and policies resulting in more equitable distribution of micro-mobility throughout cities and surrounding areas.
  • Managing system growth through safety infrastructure improvements.
  • Fleet caps that minimize waste and street/sidewalk clutter.

The trends are growing and will be tracked further through the atlas.  Read more about it here.


Lime Pushes for Mobility-as-a-Service Status

Lime, once known for its huge fleet of ubiquitous green bikes, announced it will allow third-party transportation service providers to offer their services inside its app, growing from a bike and scooter booking service to a MaaS provider.

Wheels, which offers pedal-free e-bikes, will be the first to join Lime inside its app. Users will be able to find and reserve Wheels bikes and Lime scooters and bikes in the app, with more partners expected later this year. The MaaS platform will launch in Austin, Texas; Miami, Fla.; and Seattle, Wash. in the U.S., and Berlin, Germany in Europe. Lime scooters are already part of the Uber app, along with other modes of transportation, in a similar evolution.

Read more here.

Is This Micro-mobility’s Moment?

A kick scooter on a city sidewalkSince COVID-19 lockdowns started in March, micro-mobility has struggled and several big players have either exited specific markets or left the field altogether. But with more people around the world heading back to work and wary of trains and buses, micro-mobility may be enjoying a big boom–and a chance to ingrain itself into city culture.

Several cities are reporting huge increases in the number of people using shared bikes and scooters, and at least one company is rolling out a leasing model, where a user would have a specific device to use for a monthly fee rather than hitting the dock or an app to claim one every day.

Key, some experts say, is avoiding monopolies, which left several cities’ riders stranded when companies collected their vehicles and left the markets during the pandemic.

Is this micro-mobility’s big moment? Read it here.

Bike Sharing on Campus

Bike Sharing on Campus

Nearly two years ago, I was asked to write an article in this very column on bicycle parking in parking facilities. Two years is like 14 years for comparing the leaps in technology available to bike-sharing programs and the explosion of bike-share programs at the college and university level.

Bike Sharing on Campus

I also wrote an article about millennials in parking in 2015, saying we must embrace them in our industry. Many of us feel flummoxed with ever-improving technologies for parking and now, as I will detail, for biking! You can connect these issues to millennials, who are driving (no pun here) the demand for more walkable and bikeable communities, campuses, and amenities to support their preferences for driving and possibly parking less.

The bike-share station is typically in a centrally accessible location with several bikes per station. Stations are desired to be located in sheltered areas and many can be found in parking garages. The shared bikes are heavy duty, with bells and whistles (ok, not whistles) and baskets and lights to maximize bike use. The intent of the bike share is typically to provide a connection between other modes of transportation and/or shortening trip time (versus walking) across a large campus to a destination.

The bike share can be for an annual fee, typically for students/faculty, or monthly, weekly, daily and of course hourly fees for the most transient users. In addition, most bike shares allow you to ride the shared bike from one station to another. You do not have to return it to the same station from which it was rented.

Popularity and Structure
Bike Share Philadelphia estimates there are nearly 1 million bikes in the bike-share fleet across all users. A simple web search for bike-share information quickly reveals a broad spectrum of universities and colleges that have deployed bike-share programs. Interestingly, many of these indicate the bike-share program is designed to reduce normal car trips within and around the campus, and of course demand for car parking spaces. This can be significant on urban campuses, where parking demand is high and at a premium.

On some campuses, such as Yale University, the bike-share model works similarly to Zipcar, so bikeshare users have a clear understanding of the process, where they sign up for an account and get access to shared bikes. Setting the path in Connecticut and New England, Yale conducted a pilot bike-share program in 2013 run by Zagster, a bike-share startup based in Cambridge, Mass., that has been very successful and converted to a full-fledged bike-share program. Zagster is clearly one of the industry leaders in the bike-share industry, offering turnkey approach to bike share with very limited administration by the university or college. Other campuses, such as Ohio State, operate their own bike-share programs, perhaps with bikes and a system provided by a bike-share vendor.

The bikes come with technologies to allow sophisticated apps for access and locking, and on some systems, directions on the bikes themselves. The technology is emerging as is the recent introduction of e-bikes—bikes with batteries. Smart bikes, dumb racks is where the
technology is going.

One aspect of the bike sharing is parking—where to park the bikes, where to locate the stations and how to integrate the bike-sharing model with the parking model most universities already have in place. Some campuses keep the bike share system separate from the parking system, typically under a sustainability department, while others have it overseen by the transportation department, which also manages parking.

Bike sharing is here to stay and will be an integrated mode for college campuses to their future campus plans for transportation and parking.

By Joseph Balskus, PE, PTOE and he can be reached at balskusj@cdsmith.com.

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