Newark, NJ – May 22, 2023—Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced that NewarkGo, the City of Newark’s first-ever shared e-scooter and bike program, has surpassed one million rides since its summer 2021 launch. The announcement was made at a press conference in the “Orange Sticks” section of Riverfront Park, off Raymond Boulevard.
Providing up to 2,000 affordable scooters and bicycles to Newarkers, the program has attracted nearly 75,000 individual riders between the two operating companies – Bird Rides and Veoride.
Mayor Baraka also announced that the administration is working with the City Council to create a permanent version of this successful program that will provide similarly safe, fast, and affordable micromobility service to residents and visitors citywide beginning this fall.
“Our NewarkGo program has been an outstanding success. In barely two years, it has provided 75,000 riders with an alternative way to get around Newark while improving traffic and parking conditions, the city’s air quality, and the health of our people and our ecosystem,” said Mayor Baraka. “Newark has been on the receiving end of environmental injustice for decades, but we are taking matters into our own hands with earth-friendly, forward-thinking solutions. The NewarkGo initiative is one more example of how Newark goes first.”
During the pilot, Bird and Veo each provided up to 1,000 e-scooters and bikes to residents in every neighborhood. Built on the best practices developed in cities across the country, the pilot program served as many as 3,500 rides per day during the peak season, and in addition to downtown, saw some of its highest ridership in the Ironbound, University Heights and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. The program also served the Mayor’s goal of creating a more equitable city, with:
Thanks to these investments, Newark ranked among the top ten U.S. cities for trips taken per resident according to the city’s data management partner on the program, RideReport, ahead of Sacramento, San Francisco and other larger cities across the country.
“We knew people would ride when NewarkGo was launched, and that they’ve taken one million rides shows that it’s here to stay,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Principal of Bloomberg Associates, and the former New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner who launched Citi Bike, the nation’s largest bike share program, in 2013. “This milestone marks the turning point from a successful pilot to a permanent part of Newark’s transportation mix.”
Bird and Veo will celebrate the 1 millionth ride by offering 500 promo codes “RideNWK” for residents to receive a $5 ride credit on their apps. The promotion will begin on May 22 and last until May 29, or until all codes are redeemed.
“Bird congratulates the city of Newark on one million rides for the NewarkGo pilot program,” said Lauren Scribi, Senior Manager of Government Partnerships for Bird. “It is an accomplishment to hit this milestone for micromobility and it wouldn’t be possible without the investment and support from the city of Newark and the great residents who have adopted micromobility as a reliable and sustainable transportation option.”
“Veo is honored to partner with the City of Newark to deliver a successful shared mobility program with a mixed fleet of standing and seated vehicles,” said Candice Xie, Veo Co-founder and CEO. “The city’s micromobility program is playing a crucial role when it comes to increasing transportation access. According to Veo’s 2023 rider survey, 61% of Newark riders don’t own or have access to a car, showing how the program is meeting the community’s demand for affordable, sustainable travel options.”
With the pilot scheduled to end this October, Mayor Baraka is working with the Municipal Council on an ordinance to provide residents with uninterrupted access to this increasingly popular way of getting around. The permanent program would build on the success of the pilot and include additional advancements such as enhanced safety education for riders, potential funding for the installing of bike racks and vehicle docks, and other technology and infrastructure upgrades. The Baraka administration plans to issue a new call for operators this summer and have a permanent program in place later this fall.
Newarkers can find additional data about the program on this public dashboard provided by RideReport. More information about the program, including how to rent and safely ride e-scooters and bikes, the corrals, and public education and outreach can be found on the Bird and Veo apps.
The NewarkGo program is overseen by the Department of Engineering, and was developed through collaboration with the Department of Economic and Housing Development with guidance from Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono consultancy of Bloomberg Philanthropies that works with mayors around the world to improve the quality of life for city residents.
For photos of the event, click here.
For highlights and b-roll, click here.
The livestream can be found here.
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