In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Investigate’ report, Fox 24’s Katelynn Zoellner looked into the increase in vandalism of the largest bike-share program in Arkansas.
The company VeoRide launched the program with 340 bikes and electric assist bikes in Fayetteville in September 2018. Since then, there’s been hundreds of more bikes added to the program.
The program offers a transportation option for students, faculty, staff and visitors of the University of Arkansas as well as for residents in Fayetteville.
“The majority of the users are outstanding citizens who use the bikes as they’re meant to be used and that’s exactly how we want it,” said Andrew Miles, Southeast Regional Manager for VeoRide.
While the bikes serve as an efficient way to get around the city, not everyone is respecting them.
“Like with anything, there can be certain individuals who just want to be destructive or cause harm,” said Miles. “Most perpetrators that we’ve caught have been college or high school students.”
Miles said there’s been more vandalism in recent months. Some of the culprits have caused minimal damage while others have made bikes unusable.
“We always do a thorough investigation,” he said. “We do not necessarily assume the last user is the cause of everything. They can be just a good reference point.”
If you’re caught vandalizing a bike, Miles said the fine can range from $15 all the way up to the cost of the bike. And, depending on where you commit the crime, you could also face local, state and even federal charges.
You can learn more about the VeoRide bikes here.
If there’s something you want to know about in your community, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@knwa.com.