Culture / Newsy

A Fleet of Electric Rental Scooters Zoom Into Dallas

A Neat New Transportation Trend or Bike Gate 2.0?

BY // 07.03.18

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when Dallas gives you Lime-S, you ride scooters.

The popular, electric-green bike sharing company, Lime (formerly known as LimeBike), rolled out its electric scooters, dubbed Lime-S, in The Big D on Monday. Dallas City Council lifted the ban on electric scooters last Wednesday, allowing two vehicle rental companies — Lime and Bird — to employ up to 500 scooters each in the city for a six-month pilot period.

Both companies’ scooters cost $1 to unlock through an app and 15 cents per minute of riding, which provides Dallasites with another eco-friendly transportation alternative. Lime-S scooters can travel 37 miles on a full charge, while scooters Bird taps out at an 18 mile distance.

These mini rides can really hustle — reaching top speeds of 15 mph.

They are also easy to ride. All you have to do is open the app, step on, kick forward, twist the throttle, and you’ll be riding in style. The bikes and scooters are GPS and 3G-enabled, making it simple for riders to find, unlock, and pick up a nearby vehicle using a smartphone. You just tap the app when you’re done and park it in an approved area.

Many local businesses partnered with Lime to be these designated areas for Lime-S. The City Council’s ordinance states the scooters cannot be used downtown or on Deep Ellum sidewalks.

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You may be wondering how the heck do they charge? The electric scooters are collected on a daily basis, charged overnight and redistributed the next day in approved areas.

Lime pays those who sign up as “juicers” $5 to $20 per scooter to pick them up after sundown, charge them in their personal homes, and drop them off before 7 am. Bird does the same at a rate of $5 per scooter. Lime goes the extra mile, though, and picks up any stray scooters the juicers missed to make sure they are charged for the morning and off the streets at night.

Safety is a top priority for Lime. They are the only company to produce rider education videos built to inform users about safety and how to park responsibly. Wearing helmets is stressed in a safety video, even though helmets are not provided with the scooter.

You better jump on this trend because it could be leaving Dallas come 2019. Dallas has had well-publicized issues with rental bikes being stolen, damaged, picked away for parts, and irresponsibly dumped on the streets in the past. We’ll have to wait and see if scooters bring us bike déjà vu.

Later this year, the city can elect to modify the ordinance to address these issues, add more electric scooters and keep the rules as are, or abolish the program all together.

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