The companies will initially deploy e-scooters in the Eastern Bronx pilot zone, which includes neighbourhoods from Eastchester and Co-op City to Morris Park.
A second rollout in 2022 will include as many as 6,000 e-scooters in neighbourhoods farther south, such as Throggs Neck and Soundview.
In total, the zone is an 18-square-mile area home to a diverse population of 570,000 residents, including 25,000 New York City Housing Authority residents.
NYCDoT says the pilot will allow it to test a variety of strategies to manage pavement clutter.
The department will complete an evaluation of the pilot that will examine usage, trip patterns, safety, e-scooter parking behaviour and system accessibility. It will also evaluate the pilot on how well it is providing equitable coverage across the entire pilot zone.
As part of the initiative, nearly 90 e-scooter parking corrals have been installed on busy corridors within the pilot zone.
Riders who want to park in these areas must return their e-scooters to a corral. In other parts of the zone, riders can park on the pavement, against the kerb and out of the pedestrian path of travel. Corral locations are available in online maps for each of the three community boards.
Additionally, the three micromobility companies have given away dozens of helmets, which are strongly encouraged for riders.
The pilot service area will also be geofenced to prevent e-scooters from leaving.
Some safety and accessibility features include in-app safety tests for new riders, voluntary socially distanced lessons and accessible vehicle options, such as seated scooters and wheelchair attachments.
E-scooters can only be unlocked using each company's app, and are available to riders who are 18 and older.
Veo and Bird e-scooters both cost $1 to unlock and $0.39 per minute while Lime e-scooters are $1 to unlock and $0.30 per minute.
All three firms will provide discounted pricing for low-income riders enrolled in federal and state assistance programmes.
Further measures to help the community include additional in-app language options other than English and stationing employees at corral locations to educate the public and address operational issues during the rollout.
Lime CEO Wayne Ting says: “Our scooters will provide East Bronx residents and visitors with a safe, accessible, and equitable way to get around their neighbourhoods that reduces congestion and connects people to subway stations and bus stops that are all too often too far away.”