Lime Bikes Popular in Sparks, Lime Scooters Could Be Coming Soon

in Business/Local News
People can rent the bikes by downloading the LimeBike app, scanning the QR code or entering the number on the back, then unlocking the bike. Trips cost $1 per 30 minutes of ride time.

Lime bikes first hit the streets of Sparks on May 14, and since then the company Lime, formerly LimeBike, has been tracking their bikes to see how popular the bikes are.

Lime bikes first hit the streets of Sparks on May 14, and since then the company Lime, formerly LimeBike, has been tracking their bikes to see how popular the bikes are.

Monday they presented their findings to the city council, and General Manager for Reno-Sparks Cesar Cardona says the usage rate in the city of Sparks is high considering how tiny it is.

“Because it's so localized where we've been deploying and where the city requested us to be, the high ridership is incredible,” Cardona says. “More than 13,000 miles in such a small space they're literally riding around the marina all the time.”In a little over three months since the launch, Lime bikes have had more than nine thousand unique riders. They average about 120 riders a day, and those riders average about 42 minutes per ride, which is much longer than the national average of eight to ten minutes per ride.

The main two hotspots for Lime bikes in Sparks are the Victorian Avenue corridor and the Sparks Marina.

“Areas that are recreational friendly,” Cardona says. “They're open spaces, they're green spaces.”

Cardona says they are looking to add Lime scooters to Sparks and they have to ability to deploy them whenever they want per the contract they signed with Washoe County. But Cardona says they work with what he calls “franchises” like the City of Sparks so they can have the best outcome, because their contract is up at the end of January, and individual franchises like the City of Sparks will decide if they want to keep the bikes, or the scooters around.

Park officials are concerned about the speed of the scooters around the marina. The current top speed of the scooter is 15 mph and the company is trying to lowering it to about 10 mph, especially because other cities have asked for slower scooters. With less than five months left in this contract, there's no guarantee they can modify the scooters in that time. That doesn't mean they won't still deploy them.

“We just don't know when that will happen,” Cardona says. “Otherwise we do have mechanisms to prevent the scooters from being used around the marina.”

While it's unclear how the city will respond to Lime scooters if they're ever deployed, Cardona says the popularity of Lime bikes is apparent.

“Seeing how active our operations team is there on a daily basis, seeing the numbers reveal themselves,” Cardona says. “It's hard to say ‘Well, you know this is a one-shot off.' I don't think so. With such a small space and the high usage rate, the data speaks for itself.”

Monday, September 10th 2018, 11:10 pm PDT by Brandon Fuhs/Updated: Tuesday, September 11th,2018, 7:23 pm PDT

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