SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Sarasota launched an e-scooter and bicycle ride sharing program last month to help with mobility around the city that’s been popular among residents and visitors alike.

City officials say in the first month, there have been more than 15,000 rides covering over 48,000 miles.

“What we are doing here with our micro-mobility system – along with our trolley program ‘The Bay Runner’ – we are reducing the number of cars that are out on the road and really reducing congestion,” explained Mark Lyons, the general manager of the city’s parking division and mobility.

Though the program has been successful so far, there have been a few bumps in the road. Residents have expressed concerns about safety after seeing children as young as 10 years old using the e-scooters.

“It ultimately just comes down to a safety issue. They are fun, I will say that for sure, but you are on the street with two-ton vehicles,” Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch said. “It is not a toy. It is micro-mobility and it is to get from A to B and we want people to be mindful of that.”

Florida law requires e-scooter riders to be at least 16 years old. Veo, the ride sharing company under contract with the City of Sarasota, takes it a step further.

“We want to make sure that we are enforcing it across the country with the strictest measure possible, so we enforce 18 years of age,” Veo Regional General Manager Jason Warner said.

In addition to the age requirement, Veo riders are required to be licensed drivers.

“For each person who signs up, who wants to ride a scooter for the very first time, they will scan their drivers license and they will certify that they are 18 years of age. We haven’t had too many issues with it and we hope to keep it that way,” said Warner. “We just want to make sure that the few instances that do pop up that we are able to get to those quickly.”

City officials explain it is not a widespread issue, but it is a safety concern

“Some of the events where we have heard about underage ridership is really isolated for the most part,” said Lyons.

Veo officials say people who violate their rules and allow underaged riders may have their account suspended.

“When a person is underage riding, they are in violation in the terms of agreement. If it is their first time doing it, they are typically met with a warning. If it is particularly egregious or someone that is well under the age or they are riding very recklessly in and out of traffic, then they would be met with an account suspension,” said Warner.

In hopes of educating the public of its rules, the ride sharing company is hosting another outreach event next Saturday April 30, on St. Armands Circle from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I think there’s just a lot of messaging that needs to go out to the community to remind our visitors and remind our residents that you really do have to be careful. They are on the road with cars and you need to be safe,” said Commissioner Ahearn-Koch.