Veo expands into the city of LA
Three months after opening its new headquarters in Santa Monica, micromobility startup Veo is expanding its fleet and footprint. Since last week, runners have been able to cross the municipal border between Santa Monica and LA and take trips north to Will Rogers State Beach, south to Marina Del Rey and east to Mar Vista. .
“It’s good to see more people able to commute between Santa Monica and a nearby neighborhood…because in the past we [did] see a lot of people stopped at the border,” Veo CEO Candice Xie said.
A screenshot shows the new availability of Veo scooters on the city’s west side of LA
Still, the riders won’t be able to ride the entire city of LA. The city of LA has only granted them permits for 500 vehicles. Xie said they are focused on expanding the boundaries of where their mostly Santa Monica-based users already indicate they want to ride.
As part of the expansion, the company is adding a mixed fleet of 400 e-bikes and 100 stand-up scooters.
Enterprising drivers who venture beyond the new expanded geolocation zone can expect to receive a warning text message and their vehicle to come to a slow stop. Also, they will not be allowed to leave the e-scooter or e-bike outside the area without incurring a penalty which starts at $15.
Currently, it costs passengers $1 to unlock and $0.33 per minute to ride (plus taxes and fees). Residents of Santa Monica and Los Angeles who are eligible can apply to travel at a discounted rate via Veo accesswhere passengers pay $5 per month for unlimited 30-minute rides.
Xie said the permit approval process for the city of LA has taken longer than expected and that this new expansion will be done in phases, with the next phase expected in two to three months.
Veo is the seventh micromobility operator currently licensed in the city of Los Angeles, joining rivals Bird, Lime, Wheels, LINK (Superpedestrian), Lyft and Spin.
Veo’s expansion comes at a precarious time for the shared micromobility market. Earlier this month, Santa Monica-based Bird laid off 23% of its staff. Layoffs were also reported to both Superpedestrian and Voi this week.
However, Xie said Veo is doubling down on both the greater Los Angeles area and California as a whole, with recent launches in Berkeley and Santa Clara. While other companies are laying off workers in search of profitability, Xie said Veo is growing.
“We are always hiring from the community and want to increase our visibility and also get more local talent to join us.”
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