Carbondale, SIU and VEO launch new form of transportation

SIU and the City of Carbondale are bringing electric scooters to town as a new mode of transportation for residents.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, IL. (KFVS) -Southern Illinois University (SIU) and the City of Carbondale are bringing a new mode of transportation to town.

Those who got to hop on electric scooters today at the launch of the new VEO Scooters enjoyed themselves.

One Carbondale resident says he had to come check out the new form of transportation.

“It’s been fun,” said Thaddeus Bowles. “I saw a Facebook post, talking about this new program, the city is doing with VEO and I’m a bike guy, so I came to check it out.”

Friday was the initial launch of the program. More than 350 stand-up and sit-down scooters have been placed all across SIU campus and the city.

“We’re really seeing this as like an additional form of transportation for folks. An additional service that you know you’re paying for it but it’s probably going to at least these days be cheaper than driving your car, faster than walking,” said Molly Maxwell, senior planner for City of Carbondale.

Maxwell says she has been working on bringing this to Carbondale for the last three years.

“We hope that everybody tries these out at least, if for nothing else it’s just a fun activity to ride around town,” said Maxwell.

Maxwell also said she hopes people use them to run different errands, to and from work or just for fun.

The city partnered with a company called VEO. Their main goal is to provide another way to get around Carbondale.

“Carbondale is a great opportunity for us to showcase that, with its mixture of having SIU here as well as the up and coming, rebuilding of the city and getting more businesses downtown, we feel that we can be a very vital and intricate part to that,” said VEO Regional General Manager Ben Thomas.

And it’s relatively cheap to get around.

“So cost is a 1$ to unlock the vehicle, than 31 cents a minute,” Thomas said.

It’s as easy as downloading the VEO app, scanning it and going.

Will you be using this in the future? “Oh I’ll be using it today,” said Bowles.

And VEO has a local warehouse where these scooters batteries will be charged and swapped out.

“We handle all the charging locally in house at our warehouse. So we have a charging station set up, we charge the batteries locally, our techs are in there making sure they get charged properly as well as taking care of our techs to out and swap batteries, all of our vehicles are swappable batteries.”

The city says they do not own the scooters and did not use taxpayers dollars for them.

VEO told me they are expecting to have a total of more than 400 scooters around town.

For more information, you can visit the City of Carbondale’s website.

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