NewarkGo, the city’s first-ever shared bike and e-scooter pilot program, will launch a six-month pilot this month, providing up to 2,000 affordable electric scooters and bicycles and linking Newarkers to jobs, schools, housing, health care facilities, the transit network, and other essential services. Two leading companies, Bird Rides, Inc. (“Bird”) and Veoride, Inc. (“Veo”), will be awarded permits to operate the short-term, shared micromobility service that will be available to residents and visitors citywide.
“While our schools, offices and businesses continue to reopen, NewarkGo can help Newarkers access all that our city has to offer,” said Mayor Baraka. “This safe, fast and affordable service is the first new mode of transportation our city has seen in decades, and I look forward to partnering with Bird and Veo to build stronger connections between communities and open up new avenues of opportunity for people in every corner of this city.”
Bird and Veo, which will each offer up to 1,000 e-scooters and bikes, currently operate in more than 250 and 40 cities respectively. These operators submitted applications to the City of Newark’s Department of Engineering and were evaluated in accordance with the permitting process adopted in April by the Newark Municipal Council, on a first come first service basis. Newark’s shared dockless bike and e-scooter program will ensure that operators in Newark build on the best practices developed in cities across the country. They will provide service to communities in every ward, including communities with lower incomes and longer commutes; discounted ride options for qualifying residents; alternative rental services for people without access to cellphones or credit cards; and adaptive bike designs to accommodate people of different ages and abilities.
“These bikes and scooters represent an entirely new transportation system for Newark, making it more accessible, equitable and affordable than ever to get around,” said Janette Sadik-Khan of Bloomberg Associates, who served as New York City Transportation Commissioner and launched the nation’s largest bike share program, Citi Bike, in 2013. “Mayor Baraka is setting a national example for cities during the recovery by bringing more opportunities within reach of every neighborhood.”
“Bird’s mission is to provide eco-friendly transportation to all as cities work to decrease pollution and congestion caused by gas-powered cars in their communities,” said Sam Cooper, Senior Manager, Government Partnerships at Bird. “We applaud Mayor Baraka and the City of Newark for their leadership and commitment to bring emission-free, affordable and equitable transportation to the city. In partnership with community partners such as the New Jersey Reentry Corporation and the Metropolitan Baptist Church, we are honored to provide residents and visitors access to our state of the art micro electric vehicles including our e-bikes and custom designed and engineered e-scooters.”
“Veo is proud to have been selected as part of the first dockless micromobility pilot in Newark,” said Candice Xie, VEO CEO and Co-Founder. “Following Mayor Baraka’s lead, we look forward to working closely with the City and the local community to implement a micromobility program that utilizes locally hired staff and is tailored to Newark’s needs and priorities. As the only operator that directly designs, manufactures, and operates a mixed fleet of micromobility vehicles, Veo can’t wait to see Newark residents and visitors using our e-scooters and pedal bikes to get around the city in a new, safe, and sustainable way.”
Both companies will conduct comprehensive outreach and educational programs that will explain details of the program, including how to rent and return bikes and e-scooters, rider trainings, and helmet giveaways. These campaigns will build on the city’s ongoing rider-education and safety events, including a partnership with New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, which provided a series of virtual and in-person events at locations around the city.
The City of Newark’s Department of Engineering oversaw the installation of bike and e-scooter parking corrals—dedicated the street and sidewalk space in Downtown and throughout the city for Bird and Veo bikes and e-scooters, providing predictability for riders as well as dedicated parking areas. More information about the how to rent and safely ride e-scooters and bikes, the corrals, public outreach and educational campaigns, and other components about the program can be found at the city’s program website, https://newarkehd.com/planningzoning/newarkgo as well as on Bird and Veo apps.