CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville is debuting a new way to get around the city, and it involves a company called Lime and your cell phone.

On Monday, December 10, some people tested out these app-based electric scooters and bikes.

The city of Charlottesville and the California-based company Lime partnered up for this program.

Scattered across town are 50 bikes and 200 scooters, and you use your smart phone to find one, unlock it, and go.

“You could probably get across Charlottesville on one,” Tyler Freeman, who lives in the city, said.

The scooters offer a new, unconventional way to zip around town.

"I was kind of skeptical when I first starting riding it,” Freeman said. “And then we just rode it around as, like, a thing to do."

Once you’ve downloaded the Lime app, you can locate a dock-free device near you and take off across the city.

"I can't really explain it,” Freeman said. “It's like, once you get on it, it's just like you're a kid riding a bike again. You just wanna do it for fun."

However, it's not all fun and games. The city has some rules in place, and it requires riders to obey traffic rules, maintain a speed of 15 miles per hour, and stay clear of the Downtown Mall.

“It's a great idea for the students like me, and PVCC the students and like UVA and just for everyone to get around,” Juwan Smith, who lives in Charlottesville, said.

Smith likes the concept, but he was skeptical to test it out in the snow.

“Little nervous getting on one, but I'm definitely gonna do it once the snow clears up,” Smith said. “I don't know how fast it goes, but I'll be ready for it."

The scooters cost just $1 to start riding, and 15 cents for every minute after that.

You can leave it almost anywhere when you’re done with it, as long as it doesn't block traffic or driveways.

“So you just push lock and then end ride, and then it asks you to take a picture of it,” Freeman said.

You can read below for more information on these devices before taking one for a spin.


Lime Press Release:

Lime, the largest shared bike and scooter provider in the U.S plans, announced that it is the first bike and scooter company operational in Charlottesville, providing citizens access to a fleet of electric bikes and dock-free scooters as part of the city's new pilot program.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to be the first electric bike and scooter company in the city and are excited to provide Charlottesville with accessible, affordable mobility options. Lime has helped hundreds of communities improve local transportation through sustainable bike and scooter share, and we look forward to integrating ourselves into the community and working with city, community and university leadership to best fill Charlottesville's unique transportation needs,” said Sean Arroyo, general manager for Lime.

To make clear its commitment to Charlottesville, Lime has deployed 50 e-bikes and 200 dock-free scooters across the city to ensure Charlottesville riders can safely and efficiently find dependable transportation options to reach their destinations.

As part of its effort to make bikes and scooters available to underserved communities, Lime also offers Lime Access, an affordability program, to improve transportation access for all Lime Access riders can unlock any Lime product without a smartphone or purchase Lime credit with cash in partnership with PayNearMe, and receive a 50 percent discount on every ride.

Lime is also investing more than $3 million to help empower people to exhibit safe and responsible riding behaviors as part of its “Respect the Ride” campaign. The campaign includes a community pledge and helmet distribution, product enhancement, safety brand ambassador program, ad campaign, and dedicated Trust, Education, and Safety team.

The first 25,000 riders to sign the pledge will receive free Lime helmets in the mail for showing their support. Over the next six months, Lime will be distributing a total of over 250,000 free helmets to riders across the globe.

Additionally, Lime is continuing to develop features that promote safe riding and encourage riders to use safe and responsible riding behavior. In-app, Lime added safety tutorials and ID scanning in select cities.

Lime also launched a "Lime Green" initiative to ensure all scooter and e-bike rides globally will be carbon neutral. As part of Lime Green, the company will purchase renewable energy credits from both new and existing projects for the electricity used to charge its fleet of bikes and electric scooters.

The company will also buy carbon offsets to account for the local operations and management of its fleet.