COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M will transition its bike share system to a new vendor in January 2019 according to the University's Transportation Services department.
Beginning in January, VeoRide will replace Ofo to offer dockless bikes for use on and around campus. VeoRide already operates in 20 other communities in the United States, using their pay-as-you-go membership plan.
The first shipment of bikes will arrive January 2nd and have 2500 bikes. The bikes come pre-built, so virtually no set up is required.
TAMU Transportation services said they chose to replace Ofo due to operational efficiency.
"Ofo was not able to respond in the way we needed to," said Alternative Transportation Manager, Ron Steedly. "We are confident that Veoride will be able to do that."
Steedly also said a Veoride fleet manager will be on site to help with responsibilities.
"We will be able to have direct access to the vendor," he said.
In the past, when a bike-share bike was misplaced, it was Ofo's responsibility to pick it up and put it back in an acceptable area. Now, that responsibility will fall on the university.
"We will be more proactive in the way we seek out and find problems in advance," Steedly said.
That will include university employees, mainly student workers, who will be looking for misplaced bikes before they are even reported.
"Now we are going to find and fix," said Steedly. "All that extra time in between, waiting, is not gonna happen anymore. So I feel like we are gonna be able to respond very quickly and be very proactive and reactive to the way the city and the university look."
Steedly says his staff is already practicing so they can be fully equipped when Veoride arrives.
"We are hoping that people feel as if bike share is perfect, that's the goal," he said. "Whether that is the users being perfect or we are just so good at cleaning up after them, that it is perfect."
Veoride is also cosmetically different than Ofo. Other than the color difference of blue versus yellow, Veoride has a basket that has a cup holder, a different kick stand and has a seat that adjusts for riders from 5'3 to 6'5.
TAMU will have an information and resource table available at the Memorial Student Center from Nov. 26 through Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer questions about VeoRide.
How It Works
To rent a bike, customers simply download the VeoRide app and locate a bike. They open Bluetooth on their phone, scan the QR code on the bike or enter the bike’s ID to unlock it, and ride. At the end of the trip, riders must park at designated parking locations on campus and around the city that are identified in the app, and they simply push the button on the bike lock to end the trip.
Current pay-as-you-go pedal bike rental rates start at 50 cents for 15 minutes. Day passes are $6.99 and include unlimited two-hour rides. Standard rates are $28.99/month or $99.99/annually. Additional packages are available at a discount to students, faculty and staff for $15/month, $50/semester or $75/annually and include unlimited one-hour rides.
About Transportation Services
Transportation Services is an empowered team of professionals dedicated to providing efficient, dynamic and innovative fleet, parking and transit services to the Texas A&M University community. Transportation Services supports the teaching, research and public service mission of Texas A&M University, with focus on customer service and communication.
VeoRide, with offices in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois, is an easy-to-use and adaptable dockless micro-mobility share company. Micro-mobility includes all modes of short-distance transportation, including bikes, e-assisted bikes and e-scooters. The company aims to provide multi-modal alternative transportation to cities and college campuses. VeoRide currently operates more than 20 dockless micro-mobility share programs in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Texas, and continues to expand in additional markets each month.