When Bird scooters come out of hibernation this spring, scooters from Midwest-based company VeoRide will join them and Limes on the streets and sidewalks of Bloomington.
VeoRide scooters will come to campus March 23, the day after students return from spring break, VeoRide spokesperson Amy Hesser said. Yaël Ksander, the City of Bloomington spokesperson, said Bird scooters are scheduled to return the same day.
Hesser said VeoRide created scooter batteries that can be swapped out, allowing riders to leave the scooters where they are instead of driving the scooters to a charging station. Hesser said this reduces carbon emissions because transporting the heavy scooters to charging stations takes more gas.
In each city, VeoRide has three coordinators, and each of these coordinators work with teams to change and charge the scooter batteries, Hesser said.
Ksander said the incorporation of VeoRide is different because the company came to the city before starting its operations, unlike Bird and Lime which both dropped scooters unannounced in 2018. Dropping off the scooters unannounced caused some turmoil for the city because it had no time to prepare for how the scooters would be regulated.
The city now has guidelines for people to follow while riding scooters such as paying attention to dismount zones around the city, which were originally established only for bikes.
Ksander said the zones were determined based on high levels of foot traffic and are intended to keep pedestrians safe. A complete list of dismount zones, along with other scooter regulations, can be found on the City of Bloomington website.
“People need to take care of themselves as well as others,” Ksander said.
Ksander said that the VeoRide scooters have been approved by the Board of Public Works, which is made up of Bloomington residents who make decisions about directives involving Bloomington.
Although two companies already provide this service, Ksander said the market is driven by demand. She said the fact that VeoRide is interested determines that there is a market.