What’s with all the Lime scooters?
With offices in Seattle and Tacoma, Voxus employees have not been able to ignore the countless sightings of Lime scooters..some right outside the office doors. These bright lime green bikes and scooters have been popping up all over the greater Seattle and Tacoma areas. So, what’s up with that?
Lime is a startup founded in 2017 and is based in San Francisco. Lime rents shared dock-less bicycles and scooters. The company initially launched its first location with just 125 bicycles; today, Lime is in over 70 markets in the US and Europe with plans to expand to Canada. Originally offering shared bicycles, Lime has since added e-scooters, smart bikes and electric assist bikes.
Lime has announced that the pilot in Tacoma will last 60 days and will feature 250 scooters and 100 e-bikes. After the two-month pilot, Tacoma city representatives will decide how to move forward with Lime. Lime bikes have been in Seattle for more than a year now with thousands on the streets, but the scooters are not allowed.
How it works
Each bicycle and scooter comes equipped with GPS tracking, 3G connectivity and a smart lock. Users need to download the mobile app to locate a bike or scooter and scan the QR code to unlock it. Once the user is done riding, they can park the bike or scooter anywhere and use the app to lock it.
The rental cost is pretty affordable. Electric bikes and scooters cost $1 to start and 15 cents each minute. The smart bikes are $1 for every 30 minutes of riding.
My Lime e-scooter experience
Last week, I was pulling into the parking garage of my condo in Tacoma when I saw a Lime-S scooter parked right outside. I decided to give it a try. The app was easy to find and download, but there were a couple of things I had to fill out and review before riding, such as payment and driver’s license information. Users have to agree to follow traffic laws and wear helmets while riding, although I don’t often see people doing this.
The scooter was hard to control at first. You have to push to get it going, otherwise it’s really jerky. The brakes were also sensitive, so it took a few minutes for me to get used to them. I rode along Ruston Way in Tacoma for 10 minutes and it cost me $1.35. After my ride, I simply parked the scooter and tapped a button in the app to end it. The app provides you with a summary of your trip including a map of your ride, how long the ride was, and the amount of carbon you saved as opposed to driving a car.
Overall, I enjoyed my Lime experience. It was easy to figure out and fun, once I got the hang of it. Luckily, it was nice weather during my ride. But we’ll have to see how Lime does in Tacoma in the next few weeks, especially with the rain picking up.