Rochester has officially brought back electric scooters

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There’s a brand new way to travel around the city. Rochester is partnering with a company called VEO to bring 500 electric scooters back.

The City did used to have electric scooters and bikes through a company called HOPR — but their contract ended earlier this year. People say they’ve been waiting for new ones to arrive.

“I think they’re awesome and very convenient for everybody,” Scooter user Marisol Rivera said.

The electric scooters popped up in Rochester eight days ago.

The City said they wanted to find the best vendor for them — and that is why they went with VEO.

“VEO was chosen across a host of different criteria that we looked at including a number of things,” Commissioner of Environmental Services for the City of Rochester said. “Which was first and foremost their ability to provide an equitable and sustainable means for people to transport themselves throughout and across the city.”

That’s exactly how it is helping Rivera, who works at the Strong Museum of Play.

“It makes it a little bit more convenient to where I don’t have to worry about waiting for the bus when I get out of work. It’s really hot, but I can get from point A to point B in a hurry,” Rivera said.

Not only are they convenient for riders, but they also have some safety features.

The scooters all have GPA and turn signals on the back. They also have a voice that projects out of the scooter that notifies you when you enter a no ride zone or to remind users of their rules.

“I feel a little bit more comfortable having the signals on it to where at least if there’s a car behind me they can see which way I’m turning,” Rivera said.

Perrin says the scooters are being used everywhere around the city.

To ride them you have to scan a QR code, and it’s a dollar to unlock. Then you pay about 35 cents per minute you ride.

“I’ve been using it a couple times and I’ve only spent between four and six dollars just to get back and forth,” Rivera said.

VEO pays the City for each of their scooters that are here. So the scooters did not cost anything for the city to bring in.

“This is really about expanding the options that we have within our transportation ecosystem. And the way that we’re doing that is showing that ownership should not be a barrier to access mobility,” Perrin said.

Perrin says that we will also be getting 200 electric bikes that will be phased in by the fall.

Riders also don’t need to worry about charging them. VEO has local staff who make daily rounds to replace the batteries.

To find a scooter all you have to do is go on the app and find the closest one to you.