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Bike-share program offers UNT community 15-minute rides for 50 cents

Bike-share program offers UNT community 15-minute rides for 50 cents

Bike-share program offers UNT community 15-minute rides for 50 cents
August 31
11:30 2018

UNT has partnered with a bike-share program, VeoRide, to allow students, faculty and staff to rent bikes at discounted rates, according to a UNT news release.

The bike share pilot program launched Monday with 100 bikes placed around campus in front of places such as residence halls, the General Academic Building and Fouts Field. One-hundred eighty more bikes are set to roll out in October.

“We feel that working with VeoRide makes the most of our resources while supporting a sustainable, bike-friendly campus,” said Christopher Phelps, director for UNT Transportation Services.

Two Purdue University students launched VeoRide last year. The company has bikes in nine states and is partnered with universities including Texas State University, the University of Kansas and the University of Arkansas, according to its website.

Linda Jackson, the communications director for VeoRide, said the co-founders started VeoRide because they recognized transportation issues while they were students at Purdue.

“It just makes sense [to partner with universities] because of the dense population,” Jackson said. “[Biking is] a good way for people to get around in a compact area. Students are more likely to adapt to alternate transportation.”

Transportation Services pays for part of the unlimited ride plan options, said Trista Moxley, a spokeswoman for Transportation Services. Students can pay $10 for a monthly plan or $40 for a yearly plan instead of VeoRide’s standard $13.99 or $48.99 for each plan, respectively.

UNT previously partnered with another bike share company, Spin, which brought rentable bikes to campus. Moxley said the university switched companies after Spin “decided to go in a different direction.”

Like many bike share companies, VeoRide offers its services through a mobile application.

Student and faculty university email addresses give them access to discounted ride plans, according to the news release.

After registering, students, faculty and staff will automatically receive two coupons that allow them to get two free 15-minute rides. If a rider does not complete the free 30 minutes of riding time, the leftover minutes will roll over to the next ride. After that, rides are 50 cents per 15 minutes.

People can take multiple rides in one day as long as each ride is under an hour. To ride longer than one hour, riders must lock and unlock the bike again.

To end a ride, riders must push the slider down on the lock near the back wheel. The app will then stop charging and provide a trip summary.

The bikes can also be taken off campus but must be returned to an on-campus location.

A geofence, a virtual geographic boundary, is set around campus. The bikes cannot lock outside the geofenced area, so the app will keep charging riders until it is moved back within boundaries.

VeoRide staff will return bikes to campus each morning by 7 a.m., Moxley said.

Denton City Council decided Tuesday at a council meeting to ban electric scooters to prevent a mass of electric scooters from being dropped off in the city the way bike-share program VBikes temporarily  did last year.

Moxley said the partnership with VeoRide is similar to the one with Zipcar in that the university will get data from ridership “to improve and expand [Transportation] services.”

The information UNT will look at during this pilot is basic data, such as how, where and when the bikes are used.

“We hope that the students who use VeoRide find that it fits their needs,” Phelps said.

Featured Image: The logo of Veoride. UNT launched this pilot bike-share program Monday, with 100 teal bikes placed around UNT’s campus. Jacob Ostermann

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Zaira Perez

Zaira Perez

Senior News Writer

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