The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 12

Scooters for
Roanoke
Roanoke City recently
announced the impending
arrival of scooters as an
additional mode of public
transportation for citizens.

Y

ET ANOTHER SMART
PHONE-IGNITED
convenience is on the way,
this time a 15-miles-per-hour lime
green scooter that can be picked up
and dropped off just about anywhere
in Roanoke. Electric scooters will be
roaming the sidewalks, parks and
bike lanes of Roanoke by summer,
it is estimated.
The city is jumping all over a new
General Assembly-endorsed bill that
gives the green light (so to speak)
to the scooters. One of the scooter
companies interested in Roanoke
is Lime, the one with the citruscolored scooters.
12 MAY/JUNE 2019

Roanoke Planning Director Chris
Chittum says about 500 scooters
will be initially available and that
the number could climb to 1,400
eventually "based on what one
operator was telling us." They will be
placed in "the higher activity areas like
downtown and neighborhood centers."
The scooters will be tracked and their
placement adjusted as needed.
Vice Mayor Joe Cobb, a staunch
advocate of public transportation,
says, "Our public transit options
continue to expand with the addition
of e-scooters. While these dockless
wonders will add a new beat to our
transit rhythm, we'll all have to be
increasingly aware of one another on
the roads. The thing I love about the
scooters is the additional option they
provide to get around, kind of a next
step between walking and riding
a bike. In fact, between walking,
scootering, biking and bus riding, I'll
be able to leave my car parked while
getting around in our beautiful city."
Chittum expects the approval
process to be finished by "spring or
summer ... After that, it will depend
on when operators want to get

permits and start their programs."
That should happen in a few weeks
after approval, he estimates.
These are not just recreational
vehicles, says Chittum. "We think
they have the potential to work in
concert with transit and may reduce
car parking demand in downtown.
They tend to be really good for quick,
short trips, under two miles. We hope
they will replace short car trips rather
than [requiring] long walks."
There has been some controversy
about the scooters, which are enabled
by a smart phone application and
can be picked up and dropped off
just about anywhere in the city.
They often crowd sidewalks and can
pose dangers. Still, a recent poll by
Populus of people who are familiar
with the scooters gives them a 70
percent approval rating.
Use of the scooters (by those 18
and older) will cost $1 to activate and
15 cents a minute for operation, less
expensive than a cab or even a bike
share rental. The company earning the
contract to provide scooters will pay
a $5,000 fee to Roanoke.
-DAN SMITH

TheRoanoker.com

DAN SMITH

G R E E N W AV E :


http://www.TheRoanoker.com

The Roanoker - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - May/June 2019

The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Intro
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover1
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover2
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 3
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 4
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 5
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 6
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 7
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 8
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The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover3
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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