RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Electric scooters may soon be on their way to Richmond.
It’s not the first time Richmond was eyed as a potential landing spot for trendy scooter rentals — last year, the city confiscated dozens of ‘Bird’ scooters that were scattered across the city without permission.
But city council recently approved a measure paving the way for a different company — ‘Lime’ — to have their rentable scooters arrive in RVA by springtime, though the Department of Public Works must approve Lime’s application.
“A lot of us don’t want to walk all the way to campus,” student Shyne Ahmed told 8News.
Back in January, city council voted 6-3 to approve an ordinance requiring interested companies to pay an annual permit fee in order to bring their scooter rentals to town.
Prior to then, it was illegal for electric scooter companies to operate in Richmond because they would block the public right-of-way. Mayor Levar Stoney then amended a law making scooters an exception, which council later approved.
One of the city council members who voted against the ordinance, Kim Gray, believes the scooters have the potential to cause dangerous accidents.
“These scooters can go up to 20 mph,” she said. “That’s really fast.”
The councilwoman is also worried about pedestrian safety, arguing that scooters laying across sidewalks could cause people to trip.
“For an older person or a medically fragile person, a fall can ultimately lead to someone’s death,” Gray added.
Gray also criticized Mayor Stoney for recognizing that the city needs more money to improve its infrastructure, yet gave the go-ahead for rentable scooters.
“What does a pothole do to a scooter that is going 20 miles per hour and where is the liability?” Gray questioned.
The city says the Department of Public Works is working on an application for ‘Lime’ that will be posted next week.