CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville officials say drivers need to pay attention when they are sharing the road. People have been getting around the city on two wheels thanks to a pilot program that is bringing in electric scooters and bicycles.

Bird electric scooters were dropped off all around Charlottesville early Thursday, January 10. They, along with Lime, are available to rent via smartphone. Both companies offer scooters for $1 to start, and have a fee for every minute used after that.

Charlottesville Director of Communications Brian Wheeler says the 200 scooters available means that everyone needs to pay attention on the road.

"We need drivers to be very aware that there’s this new form of transportation and they should be on the lookout for scooters and bikes,” he said.

Both companies require riders to follow the rules of the road, like stopping at signs and obey traffic lights. Electric scooters are also not allowed on the Downtown Mall, and cannot be parked there, or on the UVA Corner.

All of these scooters and bikes are part of a pilot project, and City Council will decide in July if the program will continue.


01/10/2019 Release from Charlottesville:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The city of Charlottesville has approved the second Dockless Scooter and Bicycle Policy Program permit to Bird.

Bird plans to deploy 100 electric scooters as early as January 10th.

In November 2018, the city adopted a dockless scooter and bicycle policy to strengthen the city’s transportation network and meet the city’s environmental and mobility goals. This temporary pilot program was authorized by City Council on November 5, 2019 and is planned to last until July 31, 2019.

Under the pilot program, the city has now granted permits to Lime and Bird to operate dockless mobility devices in the city. The program does not require city personnel to assume responsibility for the devices. Nonetheless, as part of the temporary program, the city will be evaluating the positive and negative impacts that these devices have in Charlottesville.

Customers are able to use smartphones or prepaid cards to access these devices. Riders are required to use the street and bike lanes and are not allowed to ride on city sidewalks. Riders must obey all safety rules and laws. The city urges riders to follow the directions for responsible riding and parking and also urges drivers and pedestrians to be more aware of these new transportation devices.

For more information about the city’s Dockless Pilot Program please visit www.charlottesville.org/dockless. To learn more and how to access these devices, please visit www.bird.co and www.lime.me.