Photo: Laurie Sermos, Lime
Scooters and ebikes have quickly become an intricate part of the Atlanta traffic landscape. Peach spoke to Lime’s Community Affairs Manager, Nima Daivari, about the rollout, usage, and challenges of scooting.
Tell us about a little bit about the rollout of the Lime scooters in Atlanta.
We rolled out our Lime-S electric scooters in Atlanta in June 2018, and the adoption has been absolutely amazing. In just the first six months we had 85,500+ unique Lime riders! Anyone who’s in Atlanta knows that Lime isn’t the only operator in the city, so to have almost 100,000 unique riders in six months is simply incredible. On February 1, 2019, the City commenced its 12-month pilot program for shareable dockless mobility devices (scooters/ebikes), and we commend the City of Atlanta for allowing scooters to operate during the time they drafted an ordinance to regulate the industry. We believe taking that kind of time to evaluate usage helps cities draft sensible ordinances and the Atlanta City Council, Mayor, and Department of City Planning did exactly that.
How does the Lime scooter service work?
Using a Lime scooter couldn’t be easier! All you have to do is download the Lime app via the Apple Store or Google Play and set up your account. Each scooter has its own GPS device within it, so when you open the app, it will show you all the nearby Lime scooters. You then use the Lime app to scan the unique QR code on the handlebars which unlocks the scooter. Each scooter has a hand brake (like a bicycle) and a throttle (like a gas pedal). To prevent a scooter from taking off too quickly, Lime has added a safety measure so that the throttle only works after you’ve self-propelled the scooter a few feet; after you give it a couple kicks the throttle will work. Just like all throttles, you don’t need to depress it all the way; the harder you press, the faster it will go, up to 15 miles per hour – the user is always in control.
When you’re done with your ride, you simply have to park the scooter properly and use the Lime app to end the ride. To hold riders accountable, the Lime app requires users to upload a photo of where they properly parked their scooter to end their ride. Scooters in Atlanta cost $1 to unlock and $0.15 per minute to ride. The average Lime ride is about 10 minutes, so the average Lime fare is about $2.50. Additionally, we have a nationwide low-income program called Lime Access where anyone who is on any state or federal assistance (Social Security, food stamps, Medicaid, discounted utility bills, etc.) qualifies for 50% off all their rides making the average low-income Lime ride about $1.25. More information on Lime Access is available at www.li.me/community-impact
There have been some challenges with how and where to ride the scooters – how do you address those?
We actually think the City of Atlanta regulations, coupled with our Terms of Service, address concerns about how and where to ride. The ordinance is clear that scooters are meant to be ridden on the roads, not the sidewalks. We at Lime feel the same way; our products are intended for bike lanes, multi-use paths, and other places you would traditionally ride a bicycle. Some people have a form factor resistance to scooters, but the easiest way to think about scooters is as the 2.0 version of the bicycle. Lime scooters are capped at 15 mph in Atlanta, so in fact, many cyclists move at faster speeds than scooters.
Are the scooters safe? Shouldn’t people wear helmets when riding them?
Yes, and yes. We have a vertically integrated scooter; we custom design, manufacture, and maintain our fleet though full-time international, national, regional, and local hires to ensure our scooters are built for commercial grade usage. When it comes to helmets, we’ve given away over 250,000 helmets worldwide through our Respect the Ride campaign, and I’m frequently at local events giving away helmets like at MARTA’s Get On Board Day in late April or through our monthly free scooter lessons. For more information on our free classes, please email email@example.com.
As a Community Affairs Manager, how do you see a company like Lime getting involved in the community – and particularly the LGBTQ community?
I’m always looking for partnership opportunities in Atlanta, LGBTQ or otherwise. We’ve partnered with the Center for Visually Impaired, Frazer Center, Trees Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, and many others. One partnership that I’m very proud of is our partnership with AID Atlanta whereby we help service their clients who have transportation access and equity issues. If someone has transportation difficulty, they are less likely to keep their appointments, get their medications, and maintain their health status. I’m always willing to meet with anyone who thinks their organization has an equity, access, transportation or environment component that needs addressing, so I encourage LGBTQ organizations to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything you’d like to add?
I’m single, so Peach readers should hit me up; I’m not above scooting on a first date.