Kent State’s the Beverly J. Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center added a new mode of transportation with the addition of VeoRide, a bike company that allows a customer to scan and unlock a bike and park it anywhere on campus.
In the short time they have been on campus, the bikes have already found their place all over Kent, including sidewalks, knocked over onto streets and in the doorways of apartment buildings. With these bikes being pushed over and left everywhere, the condition of them will corrode faster than usual.
“It’s very unorganized, interesting business plan, but not very thought out,” Ryan Reed, a senior economics major, said. “There needs to be actual designated areas to lock the bikes up, I was riding on the trail and there were two bikes left way back there.”
Where the bikes are being parked is not the only problem. Kelsie Kline, a communications major said the bikes need tune ups as well.
“The bike I had ran great at first and then half way through my ride it started to almost ‘give up,’ it was no longer giving me that boost that I had at the beginning and I had to peddle extra,” Kline said. “My friend was riding a regular bike and it definitely needed grease, it was like she had a rock attached to the back, even with the gear on the easiest level.”
According to Nick Lowther, a representative for VeoRide, the e-bikes are battery- powered, but last two days. The bikes are hooked up to a monitoring system to allow the VeoRide team to know which batteries need replaced.
VeoRide works with the community to assess how many bikes they will provide and where parking locations will be. According to Lowther, the company is still considered a start-up that is working on patching up details that need help.
“We are testing this program still, things might change regarding the parking of the bikes as we become more advanced,” Lowther said. “Our mission is to provide, cheap, reliable transportation, hence why you are able to park the bike anywhere.”
In previous years, Kent used another bike rental company and decided to switch when the contract was up. According to Christopher Lukas, the assistant director at the Rec Center, VeoRide presented their bikes and stood out the most from any other candidates.
“We chose VeoRide because of how easy they make it to use the bikes,” Lukas said. “Their eco-friendly practices, and their competitive pricing with discounted memberships for student riders.”
Sarah Arnold covers Rec and Fitness. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org