Lime, formerly known as LimeBike, is ready to enter a new vehicle into Denver’s ride-sharing world, the electric scooter.
The scooter, called the Lime-s, works like other Lime products and is unlocked with a phone app and equipped with a GPS tracker. This scooter will cost you $1 to unlock and then 15 cents per minute to ride.
Not only is Lime excited to bring this product to the Denver market, the company believes this will be another step in getting the city away from car-centric modes of transportation.
“We see Lime-S as an integral component in helping Denver achieve its Denver Vision Zero goal of 30 percent non-vehicle travel by 2030. So far, Denver has only reached 13 percent non-vehicle travel, and by taking cars off the roads and replacing them with scooters, we believe we can alleviate traffic congestion, help Denver reach its Vision Zero goals, improve urban mobility, and transform the way people get around the city,” Sam Sadle, Lime Director of Strategic Development Denver, said in a press release.
City Councilman, Jolon Clark, was in attendance at the launch event and emphasized the city’s role in creating options for people’s mobility: “The city’s goal is mobility freedom, that people have the choice to get around town however they want to. Something like this adds a whole new choice to that. This isn’t about getting people to a specific mode or getting away from a specific mode it’s really creating a place where you can live and have ultimate and freedom.”
Denver Public Works was less than enthusiastic today, tweeting that it was not consulted about the launch or made aware of Lime’s plans until “a couple of days ago.”
“We are concerned about the use, placement, & quantity of these scooters operating on Denver’s sidewalks where we see lots of peds.”
In honor of their launch, Lime invited community members to come to Mutiny Cafe on South Broadway and test out the electric scooters Friday afternoon. With little interest for my lifestyle, which involves lots of calm, mellow activities, my colleagues goaded me into attending and even participating in the event.
Since I mainly ride a bike and the train around town, I approached the event skeptically as I was unsure if I would ever use one of these scooters in my real life. Which made me wonder: who would? Luckily, Sadle was on the scene to give me a little more information about the scooters potential users.
“We really want them to be ridden by everyone in Denver,” he said. “We’re going to see where they go, we’re going to see who’s interested and where they want to ride them.”
In Denver, there are not many restrictions on where the scooters can be ridden. They are not confined to sidewalks or bike lanes specifically. Sadle, however, says safety is a priority for the company and encourages all users to ride in the areas they feel safest.
The scooters will be picked up around 8 p.m at night and placed back out at the 100 various “Lime Hubs” throughout the city at 6 a.m., fully charged.
As far as the actual quality of the ride, our own perpetual new-thing-tryer, Kevin J. Beaty has the answers for you:
That was pretty fun. I’ve definitely ridden faster scooters, but maybe on South Broadway 15 miles an hour is really as fast as I want to go. I took it down the bike lane there and felt the wind in my hair. On the way back I took it through a terribly rough and puddly alley behind Mutiny. It handled well! I’m a bike enthusiast, too, so I probably will stick to that until my cousins or brother comes out to visit, then maybe we’ll go for a spin.