NORFOLK, Va. - You'll now be able to ditch the car and hitch a ride on an electric scooter in Norfolk.
Lime scooters hit the streets of the Mermaid City on Monday, June 24. The company dropped 150 scooters in the city.
In August 2018, Bird brought their ride share program to the Mermaid City and ruffled a few feathers in the process. The West Coast start-up company dropped its scooters on the streets of Norfolk without the city’s permission.
But now electric scooters are back, approved by city council on June 11. The pilot program will assess the viability of this new mobility option for Norfolk residents and visitors. The city says starting Monday, the initiative will last for one year.
"We are really excited to bring a different mode of transportation to Norfolk - a new way to connect buses with office space the light rail transit systems," said Chris Robins with Lime.
The dockless system will allow riders to start, hold and end rides by parking the scooter in the public right of way (such as sidewalks and plazas), clear of buildings and ramps. Lime ensures the shared scooters are properly parked through preferred parking zones and photo verification.
"You don't have to be part of traffic anymore. You can be outdoors and healthier," said Robins.
Riders can make point-to-point trips in and around the city with just a tap on their smartphones. Lime also offers services for non-smartphone users and cash-based options through their Lime Access Program.
"We are different from our competition. We have a full-time staff. Our staff maintains our vehicles. Not only do we maintain them, we monitor them; each scooter is GPS-tracked," said Robins.
The scooters are pretty affordable, too. The Lime is $1 to unlock, then 15 cents per minute - and it's all done with an app on your smartphone.
City officials say it's important to obey the rules of the road, which they will be working with Norfolk Police to enforce.
"You have to be 18 to ride your scooter. Follow traffic laws, don't ride on the sidewalks, parking it properly, and we encourage you to wear a helmet," said Robins.
Click here for more information about Lime.