After a brief absence, shared bikes and scooters are returning to Birmingham.
One of two micro mobility vendors has launched operations in the City of Birmingham, providing shared bikes and scooters in a wide service area that includes downtown and many neighborhoods.
Veo, an Illinois-based company with a presence in many cities around the nation, began operations this weekend.
How Does It Work?
Ready to get around town on a bike or scooter? Here is how:
- Download the Veo app (Apple or Google) to identify available bikes and scooters and pay for rentals.
- Find a corral. The city’s Department of Transportation has established more than 90 corrals throughout the city. Veo will deploy up to 500 devices in the first 90 days of operations.
“This is just phase one,” Christina Argo, Strategic Projects and Innovation Division Manager for Birmingham’s Department of Transportation told Bham Now. “We had to be strategic and start with downtown, north and south areas of Birmingham and then touch on as many neighborhoods as possible. We’re hoping this is just the beginning of the coverage for the service.”
- Under the city ordinance and in keeping with current traffic laws, bikes and scooters will not be allowed on sidewalks. Police officers can write citations for those who ride on the sidewalk.
- Bikes and scooters should be parked in recommended parking zones established by the city and identified with signage.
- Scooters will have a maximum speed of 15 m.p.h.
- Users must be 19 years old to operate scooters and have a government-issued driver’s license. Parents can provide permission for a user who is 18.
- While users are not required to wear helmets, they are strongly encouraged.
- Users who do not park in the recommended parking zones will be charged a $2 convenience fee by the vendor. Veo will be responsible for removing bikes or scooters that have not been left in appropriate locations.
- Bikes will be available at any time. Scooters will not be available from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
More Walkable, Bikeable and Livable
“Our department is striving to make our city more walkable, bikeable and therefore more livable,” added Argo. “We’re looking at other modes of transportation, besides just hopping into your car to get somewhere. This kind of program really gives citizens the option to do that and to explore the city in a new way. I think people will use it not only for recreational purposes but also as a mode of travel to get to work perhaps or to get to health care services. It’s really an important program that we are layering into our system of transportation in the city.”
The return of micro mobility options in the city follows approval in 2020 of an ordinance allowing the operation of motorized scooters in the city. The approved vendors pay the city an administrative fee of $20 per device. Vendors also pay a fee for the city to establish corrals throughout the service area.
The City of Birmingham approved the applications for Veo and Gotcha powered by Bolt in November. Gotcha powered by Bolt will begin operations in the coming weeks.
For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, you can go to www.birminghamal.gov/transportation.