NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Mayor Ras Baraka announced Tuesday that NewarkGo, the city's first-ever shared bike and e-scooter program, will launch a six-month pilot this month providing up to 2,000 affordable electric scooters and bicycles.
The program aims to link residents to jobs, schools, housing, health care facilities, the transit network, and other essential services.
Bird Rides and Veoride will be awarded permits to operate the short-term shared 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," Baraka said. "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 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.
Both companies will conduct 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.
The 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.
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