College Park’s new bikeshare system will soon include 150 electric bikes, a major shift in how residents can get around town.
The city, the University of Maryland and nearby University Park have chosen VeoRide, a Chicago-based bikeshare company that specializes in college campuses, to replace the mBike system beginning this fall.
The new system will include 150 e-bikes, 75 regular bikes and 70 scooters. Instead of racks with locks, VeoRide uses geofencing to ensure that users leave their distinctive turquoise bikes and scooters within designated areas.
That’s designed to eliminate the problem caused by some recent scooter-sharing systems, where users have simply abandoned them around the city. The geofencing can also be adjusted, in case a particular drop-off area becomes a problem.
Users who don’t leave their bikes or scooters in the proper location will receive a notification on their phone. They can also be fined or lose the ability to use the system.
Regular bikes cost $1 to unlock and five cents a minute; e-bikes and scooters 15 cents a minute. You can also sign up for a regular bike membership at $100 a year which does not include e-bikes and scooters.
As we’ve noted previously, e-bikes have a lot of potential to turn intermittent bike users into regular bikers. It remains to be seen if scooters are the wave of the future or a late 2010s fad, but the geofencing could help.
VeoRide will have a soft launch at the beginning of August, starting officially by the end of the month or early September.