NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There’s another set of wheels you’ll start seeing around Norfolk – electric bikes.
The company launching them, Lime, did so in partnership with the City of Norfolk. Lime’s electric scooters have already been in Norfolk for about two years now.
They say the program will provide up to 500 bikes as part of a new five-year contract. Lime slowly started putting the bikes out in the city on Sunday and the official launch date is Monday. They will increase the amount based on community demand.
It’s part of Norfolk’s plan to become a more multimodal city, meaning using different modes of transportation besides just private vehicles.
In February of last year, the city put out a survey asking for the community’s thoughts on these types of services. 37% of survey-takers strongly agreed that e-scooters are important transportation options.
That’s a reality that Matias Longo, a Lime operations manager for Virginia, recognizes.
“People who either don’t want to drive a car, don’t have a car, or don’t have means of transportation to get from one place to another one,” he says. “People who live in transit deserts – they now have another way to get where they want to be.”
10 On Your Side caught up with Matias on the e-bikes’ launch day. He’s hoping the program is another way for people to get outside now that summers here and the pandemic has loosened its grip.
“Especially around times of COVID people might be scared to jump on a bus or they don’t have the alternative to go in a car. Now with these, they can [travel].”