ROANOKE, Va. – Friday was the official launch of Bolt scooters in downtown Roanoke.
“We are here for the long haul. We don’t think this is just a transportation fad,” said Will Nicholas, Vice President of Operations.
The company will distribute nearly 200 devices across the city.
City employees were able to get a first-hand demonstration of how they work before the launch.
“All the others just have the one platform where you are standing to the side, these are actually going to be facing forward while you ride," said Nicholas.
Kyle Williams is a public works employee and was the first to try the scooters out.
“15mph in the car feels like you are barely moving but 15mph on these scooters feels like you are getting it,” said Williams.
Some residents have expressed their complaints when it comes to people abandoning the devices.
“And that’s a problem. We don’t want to block the pedestrian path and corners. People who are handicapped or in a wheelchair may have difficulty maneuvering around,” said Chris Chittum, Director of Planning, Building, and Development for Roanoke.
But the city says it’s a normal problem.
“People will vandalize them. A lot of that just cools down after the newness wears off and so they companies anticipate that,” said Chittum.
Bolt said its employees will regulate that issue.
“Who will be working around the clock making sure that all of our scooters are politely and neatly distributed throughout the city so they are not a disturbance to any pedestrian, motorists or cyclist,” said Nicholas.
Although they applied for a permit first, BOLT Mobility follows Lime as the second company to deploy electric scooters in the Star City.