A new set of electric scooters has shown up on Louisville’s streets. Lime has placed 150 scooters in the city and may release more if rider demand calls for them.
A lunchtime launch at Jefferson Square allowed potential users and media to see the scooters and learn how to use them.
“The Lime-S scooters we’re rolling out in Louisville are designed with rider safety and enjoyment top of mind; with a longer lasting battery life, they are also safer and faster than any other model, which is why we’re thrilled to provide them to residents and visitors,” a press release said.
The scooters come on the heels of the Bird scooters, which arrived in Louisville in July and saw a rocky start.
Sam Sadle, director of government relations and strategic development for Lime, said the company has been working closely with the city for months to ensure a smooth and legal launch. The key to Lime’s success, he added, is that the company works with cities well in advance to help with regulation and implementation of the dockless transit system.
The company also has staff on the ground in Louisville to help the company run more smoothly.
“That means we have team members who understand where scooters and other devices should be, when people are going to use them and how best to collaborate,” he said. “So we’re very much a local company in Louisville. We’ve got a staff; we’ve got a warehouse. So that means we’re able to be responsive consumers, as well as to the city and elected officials and our community partners.”
The Lime scooters are not allowed in Waterfront Park, and they’re not allowed to be parked on the University of Louisville campus, according to the company’s agreement with the city.
A city policy enacted in October said each company must go through a six-month probationary period and can only operate 150 vehicles to start. However, if ridership exceeds four rides per vehicle per day, then the company can add 100 more vehicles per month, up to 650 bikes, scooters or other dockless transit.
Lime also operates e-bikes in some areas, which might be an option for Louisville down the road. But for now, the company is sticking with scooters in Louisville.
Lime’s scooters have an automatic headlight, and their maximum speed is 14.8 mph. They have a 250-watt motor and 8-inch wheels. Riders must be 18 and have a valid driver’s license.
“All our scooters are designed in-house, so we are a constantly evolving and learning company, meaning that we built our first batch of scooters, so we learned and changed and modified and grew and made them even better,” Sadle said. “We’re constantly iterating in both our software but also our hardware that we put on the ground.”
Lime-S scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of riding, which is the same price as Bird. Lime also offers Lime Access, a program that offers a 50 percent discount for low-income individuals.