SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — San Marcos is the newest city to sign on to a bike share program. The company VeoRide will be distributing around 350 bikes throughout the city over the weekend, but residents can already find a few dozen around town to rent out.
The company provides “dockless bikes” meaning riders can check out the bike, ride it to their destination and leave it anywhere on public property. The City of San Marcos and Texas State University teamed up to bring the company to the area.
“This is a great opportunity for college students, or really anyone in our city,” said San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides.
“As a student at Texas State, I feel like it is going to be very beneficial. We don’t have to use our cars, there’s a lot of students here at Texas State who don’t have vehicles,” said Texas State University Student Isreal Vasquez.
According to VeoRide, that’s just one of the reasons San Marcos was a good fit for the program.
“Campuses are generally underserved when it comes to being able to move around and drive a car and park it. Every university has parking issues and traffic issues,” said VeoRide Texas General Manager Matthew Briggs.
The city says this is just the beginning of introducing more urban transportation options.
“Basically bike share, car share, scooters, which we don’t have yet but we’re looking at very closely,” said San Marcos Community Services Assistant Director Kevin Burke.
Burke says the city is looking at other cities like Austin to see what worked and what didn’t, and they’ve put their wishes in writing to make sure issues are fixed quickly.
“If someone reports that there is a bike blocking ADA access, they have to fix that problem within two hours per our contract with them,” said Burke.
“Every day we will be managing our fleet. So, they’ll go and if they see bikes that are out of place they will correct those, fix any mechanical issues that we may come across and just make sure we are putting our best foot forward,” said Briggs.
VeoRide’s rental rates start at 50 cents for 15 minutes. Day passes are $6.99. Texas State students are eligible for discounts on monthly and annual passes.
To rent a bike, users must first download the VeoRide app, locate a bike, scan the QR code on the bike, a timer will start and the rider can go wherever they need.
“In the city of San Marcos, we do have a handful of suggested parking zones. On campus, we have something similar, but they are forced parking zones where we only want you to park in specific places on campus,” said Briggs. A rider can see the parking zones on the app.
The University of Texas has been navigating how it responds to problems with dockless bikes and scooters. Many students have left them blocking sidewalks, stairways and even doors.
Earlier this month we told you UT Parking officials may start enforcing a $150 impound fee. So far, officials say only one scooter has been impounded. Because of problems on game-days, they plan to impound scooters that pass the check points starting this Saturday.
KXAN’s Lauren Lanmon takes a look at the program and what other ride-sharing options are planned for San Marcos tonight on KXAN News at 6.