Bike-sharing is popular in cities across America. Now it’s coming to Fayetteville. Fayetteville State University has contracted with Lime to make 150 bikes available to students beginning Aug. 21.
Lime Bike’s first location was the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was launched in June 2017 with 125 bicycles and expanded in July 2017 to the cities of Key Biscayne, Florida; South Bend, Indiana; and South Lake Tahoe, California. In May 2018, the company announced that it would rebrand as simply "Lime” and partner with Segway to produce new scooters.
Bike-sharing is a transportation program in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a short-term basis for a price. Bikesharing is already in use or soon will be in most of North Carolina’s large cities. It is ideal for short-distance trips, providing users the ability to conveniently and inexpensively use bicycles located in their area. It can reduce vehicular traffic, especially for short, point-to-point trips.
Lime is one of the most popular firms in the U.S. As of October 2017, it had 150,000 users. Lime differs from some major U.S. bike programs, such as New York City’s Citibike initiative with Motivate Co, because it doesn’t require corrals where several bikes are stored for customer use. Instead, Lime bikes are parked and locked wherever customers end their trips. They’re then available on the spot for someone else to use.
Lime was inspired by mainstream Chinese-style bike-sharing. In China, companies have raised massive amounts of venture capital and distributed tens of thousands of their GPSenabled bikes in urban markets. Lime uses green-colored, three-speed cruiser bikes equipped with GPS and 3G connectivity. The bicycles also feature operating headlamps and tail lights, front baskets, solar panels and smart locks. Most users download the Lime app on their cell phones.
They are then equipped to find a bike or a scooter and scan the QR code or enter the number to unlock the bike.
Lime charges one dollar to unlock the bikes. Thereafter, it’s a dollar per 30 minutes of travel.
Fayetteville City Council is considering adopting an ordinance to regulate the use of Lime bikes in the city. City staff is recommending that city council consider adopting local regulations like those in Durham’s ordinance, a city where three bike-sharing companies are operating. Vendors would be issued permits after agreeing to operational standards. City ordinances and company rules will require that riders wear helmets, stay off sidewalks and use bike lanes where available.
City council is committed to expanding marked bike paths in heavy use areas. Riders must obey traffic laws and park their bikes away from pedestrian walkways.