New “micro-mobility” transportation options will soon be available to Sarasota residents and visitors after the city commission unanimously approved a deal Monday with a provider of electric scooters and ride-hailing bikes.
Veo, which is based in Chicago, was chosen as the exclusive operator in designated areas across Sarasota. Approximately 350-400 scooters (seated and standing) and 50-75 bicycles (traditional and pedal) will initially be available for rental, with the possibility of increasing the rental fleet if usage requirements are met.
City staff will now assess areas of the city where scooter and bicycle corrals can be operated via geolocation and establish parking corrals. The service should be available in early March. The scooter rental fee will be $1 to unlock via mobile app and 37 cents per minute. Bike rental will be 50 cents per half hour. Veo also offers discounted rates to low-income users who qualify. The city of Sarasota will receive a share of the company‘s revenue under the two-year agreement.
As part of the deal, the company has pledged to employ local staff who will be available to repair and replace vehicles, return misplaced scooters and bikes to parking corrals, and respond to any issues.
Veo operates in over 35 cities across the country, including St. Petersburg and Gainesville here in Florida.