VIRGINIA BEACH — The city’s plight to regulate e-scooters on the Oceanfront just got more complicated.
In a news release officials at Lime, the e-scooter company contracted in Norfolk, announced Thursday it plans to gradually deploy 500 of their scooters here and said “the use of scooters in Virginia Beach will help reduce congestion and pollution caused by using cars on short and medium-length trips.”
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Laura Miller Brooks is the government relations manager at the company and said in the release “we’re so excited to serve Virginia Beach as its cultural and natural landmarks make it an outstanding new market for Lime.”
“We look forward to building a longstanding partnership with the City and contributing to the continued success of Virginia Beach,” she said.
The company’s announcement comes just two days after Virginia Beach Police Capt. Shannon Wichtendahl, commanding officer of the Second Precinct, stood in front of City Council in their July 2 informal session to address patrolling officers’ concerns about Bird scooters on the Oceanfront.
“They’re fun and great to have but unfortunately we need to rein them in,” she said.
Lime has been in contact with the city to “create proper zoning to ensure safe and proper usage,” and even “slightly delayed” the launch until after receiving approval late Thursday night, said Russell Murphy a spokesman for the company.
Dottie Shurtz, the deputy commissioner for the business taxpayer, said because Lime doesn’t have a physical location in Virginia Beach, they’re not required to hold a business license but only to report business property tax here.
“They’ve registered with our office to report their business property tax in 2020,” she said.
Lime officially launched their scooters into neighborhoods here Saturday and had a pop-up tent with demonstration scooters for test riding Friday.
“In the coming weeks, we plan to host scooter training classes that can help new riders understand the rules of the road and familiarize them with safe riding” officials said.