International success, Lime offers electric mobility devices, predominantly scooters, but also bikes to assist people getting around the city.
In years gone by, most people owned their own bikes, but today, with only occasional use, renting a personal transportation device makes lots of sense. Borrowing from the clean, mobile transaction platform of the likes of Uber, Lime offers fast, easy, convenient and cheap alternative to public transport which can’t match the flexibility of go-anywhere transport.
So far the Californian-based company has ridden their way to US$765 Million of funding since starting in June 2 years ago. The company is in more than 100 cities across 20 countries with more than 15 million miles travelled using Lime.
Recently there’s been a lot of press about users who have had accidents while riding the Lime scooters. In today’s increasingly litigious society, far too many people turn on the company providing the product, rather than accept their role in the accident that seen them overestimate their abilities.
The Lime scooters are capable of around 23.8km/hr which seems quite fast compared to walking speed, but if you have a few km to ride, that makes plenty of sense. Like a motorbike, you have a linear control.
The system works by downloading the Lime app, creating an account and finding a Lime scooter nearby. You remotely unlock the scooter by scanning a QR code on it, ride it, then get off. Right now you’re wondering how they get recharged if you don’t have to do them. Lime has a fairly unique program where they pay people to go recharge them on the street. These people are called Lime Juicers and can earn as much as US$30 per hour.
In Australia, Lime has a presence in Adelaide and Brisbane, but is yet to break out into Sydney and Melbourne. The company is incredibly keen to launch in Australia’s two biggest cities to help fight congestion and mobility, but are waiting for Government approval.
Last night, Channel Ten’s The Project had a feature on Lime. Mitchell Price, the Government Strategy Director at Lime spoke about having a warehouse full of scooters in Melbourne and a warehouse full of scooters in Sydney, ready and waiting to go.
In terms of safety, local laws apply. This means in Australia, you would need to wear a helmet during use. Overall I love the idea, the flexibility, the freedom of an on-demand personal transport system. Of course people can be people and miss-use them, but generally, like City bike, the idea is solid and as an all EV product, it’s far better for the environment than cars or even public transport.