VeoRide adds 150 motorized e-bikes for KU campus hills
photo by: Dylan Lysen
Riding a VeoRide bike on the University of Kansas’ hilly campus may have just gotten easier, said Spencer Dickerson, a general manager for the bike-sharing service.
While students were gone for spring break last week, VeoRide added 150 new e-bikes to Lawrence, including the KU campus, Dickerson said. The e-bike addition brings the total number of VeoRide rental bikes available in Lawrence up to 500, according to a VeoRide news release.
VeoRide’s e-bikes include a front-driving motor, which aims to give riders a “sweat-free” bike ride, Dickerson said. The bikes electronically assist riders to go up to 18 mph.
“They give you a boost when you pedal,” Dickerson said.
The price to ride the e-bikes will be more than the standard pedal bikes. While the standard bikes cost 50 cents per 15 minutes of use, the e-bikes will cost $1 to use, plus 15 cents per minute of use.
To help Lawrence bike riders learn how to use the new bikes, VeoRide staff will hold information sessions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday outside of Wescoe Hall, 1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
While the standard pedal bikes are frequently used, Dickerson said the e-bikes were good for Lawrence because of the many hills around campus.
“Having e-bikes helps eliminate the barrier of topography,” he said. “It’s kind of a necessity (for KU’s campus).”
Donna Hultine, director of KU parking and transit, said she also thought the e-bikes would be good for the campus terrain.
“Pedal bikes have been popular for rides across campus and down the hill,” Hultine said, according to the news release. “With e-bikes, we think everyone will have just as much fun riding up the hill, too.”
The e-bikes can also be ridden between campus and downtown Lawrence, Dickerson said. They can be ridden for approximately 68 miles before the battery charge runs out. VeoRide staff will monitor the e-bikes and switch out batteries when they are low, according to the news release.
With the addition of more bikes, Dickerson said he was aware of the increased possibility that people will leave the bikes in undesired locations. But he noted that the service warns riders that they must return bikes to acceptable parking spots, which are any bike rack on campus and several geo-fenced locations in downtown Lawrence, or else they will be fined. Additionally, he said anyone who saw VeoRide bikes in areas they shouldn’t be — such as bikes left on a sidewalk or in the grass somewhere on campus — could contact VeoRide, which will retrieve the bike and return it to a nearby bike rack.
“We have people who work every single day cleaning up these issues; we just can’t be everywhere at once,” Dickerson said.
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