ROANOKE, Va. – After a few simple instructions, a group of half a dozen eager Roanoke residents were cruising through Lee Plaza in downtown Roanoke on Lime electric scooters Friday morning.
"That was really cool, and I didn't fall. I liked it a lot," Roanoke resident Mary Beth Chillemi-Franklin said.
"I loved it. It's really easy. The educational segment they did was great," Roanoke Vice Mayor Joe Cobb said.
"I'm very excited. I'm a big kid at heart," a woman said as she prepared to ride a scooter.
As fun as the scooters may be, they have proven to be a bit of nuisance in other cities as riders simply drop them wherever they are when they're done riding.
Cobb encourages people to be courteous.
"To not just throw them down on the sidewalk, to kind of carefully park them," Cobb said.
Chillemi-Franklin is confident Roanoke's sidewalks will not soon be littered with scooters.
"I'd like to think we're a smarter group of people and we've seen pictures of ugly piles of scooters on television, so we're going to be better than that," she said.
Chris Robbins is the senior operations manager for Lime in Virginia.
He said Roanoke, while smaller than a lot of the cities Lime operates in, is an ideal location.
"The way you have your Center in the Square, the way you have your downtown. You have three different types of neighborhoods here in Roanoke. You have a downtown neighborhood and a traditional neighborhood as well as suburban neighborhoods."
You have to be 18 to use the scooters.
You download the Lime app on your phone and then scan the QR code on the scooter to unlock it.
Unlocking the scooter costs $1 and each minute you ride costs 23 cents.
"In the interest of public safety, and in our cooperation with the city, we will actually remove our vehicles from the streets when weather warrants: hurricanes, high wind storms, snow. Then, we won't redeploy until the streets are clear. We don't want to be a hindrance. We're here to cooperate and be a help," Robbins said.
The plan is to eventually have 400 scooters.