Daniel Mayes, Editor-in-Chief
Have you ever faced the dreaded walk to or from Stone Center and wished there was a way to move more quickly? Wanted to finally get out and explore more of the Ladiga Trail? Wanted to bring your bike to campus, but don’t want to deal with storage, upkeep, or the risk of getting it stolen?
A new bike-sharing company coming to town might just be for you.
VeoRide, which is the first company of its kind to come to Alabama, allows users to use a bike by downloading an app, scanning a QR code on the bike, and then taking off. Users are charged 50 cents per 15 minutes on the bike, and monthly and yearly packages are also available for repeat users.
The company launched their program, which will start in Anniston, Oxford and Jacksonville, with an event at the Jacksonville Train Depot on Friday, where the public and officials from the three cities were given a demonstration of the new bikes.
Trent Dickeson, a 2017 graduate of Jacksonville State and Fleet Coordinator for the Tri-City area says VeoRide will provide a great opportunity for students to get around campus more quickly, sightsee around the area, or find new places off campus.
“VeoRide brings the opportunity to transport between class. You can get to class more quickly, you don’t have to fight traffic and you can save a little bit of gas money hopefully if you ride a few times throughout the week,” Dickeson said. “Even later in the evening, you can ride to Struts, Jefferson’s, Java Jolt, anywhere off campus that is somewhere to hang out.”
JSU president John Beehler says that, along with the university’s new rec center, VeoRide provides students with another option to get out and get active.
“I think the bike sharing is going to be even better for the students [than the rec center] in a lot of ways, because if they want to just get away and jump on the trail and see some great scenery, now they don’t have to own their own bike,” Beehler said. “It’s hard paying for all that tuition, books, and fees, you name it, so a lot of them don’t have their own bike. Now they can use an app and jump on a bike, and there they go.”
VeoRide bikes are located around campus, in strategic locations such as Stone center and the new RFC, and can also be found around the community, especially along the Ladiga Trail. Users are free to ride the bikes outside of the area or between cities, as long as the bikes are retuned inside the “geo-fence” of one of the towns, an area that will be specified in the app.