GRAND RAPIDS, MI — About 150 electrically-assisted bikes and 300 more stand-up electric scooters are hitting Grand Rapids streets Friday, June 4.
The new ride options are Lime’s official launch in Grand Rapids as part of the city’s ongoing “micro-mobility” pilot. Lime is a popular micromobility company based in California.
The Lime offerings will join the familiar orange-and-black electric scooters that Ford Motor Company-owned Spin launched on city streets in September 2020 for the pilot.
“Lime is thrilled to bring its shared electric assist bicycles and e-scooters to Grand Rapids to provide residents and visitors with affordable, accessible and sustainable ways to move around the city,” said LeAaron Foley, Director of Government Relations at Lime.
“Grand Rapids is making great progress toward 21st century transportation solutions that support safer and more equitable community access.”
The purpose of the city’s pilot is to examine how these ride options can contribute to the Grand Rapids transportation system.
The scooters and e-bikes will remain on city streets through the winter. At the conclusion of the pilot, city staff will evaluate a single company to provide these options on a long-term basis.
The e-bike ride options were supposed to come last fall, but fell through when South Carolina-based company Gotcha wasn’t able to provide them due to pandemic-related issues, city officials previously said. The city eventually chose Lime to provide these options.
Like the Spin scooters, the Lime e-bikes and scooters will only work within the 12 square-mile pilot area. That area covers downtown as well as about a dozen surrounding neighborhoods that account for roughly half of the city’s population.
Roughly 74% of the city’s underserved neighborhoods are located in the pilot area, Grand Rapids officials said.
As with the Spin scooters, the cost to ride the Lime scooters and e-bikes is $1 to unlock them and then 25 cents every minute thereafter. Lime, like Spin, offers reduced rates for lower-income residents and access for non-smartphone users through its Lime Access program.
People can sign-up to begin riding, access information on how to ride safely and find the nearest available Lime e-bikes and scooters by using the Lime app available on the Android and Apple stores.
Spin also has an app on the Android and Apple stores to help find the nearest scooters. Non-smartphone purchase options can be found here.
The city has 175 designated parking zones throughout the pilot area where all e-bikes and scooters must be parked after using. Improper parking has been one of the biggest issues with the pilot so far.
City staff are currently adding more parking zones to make the ride options more accessible, as well as improve proper parking rates.
“Shared electric assist bicycles and e-scooters offer lower cost mobility options, especially for shorter distance trips,” said Justin Kimura, assistant director of the city’s Mobile GR department. “We are pleased to partner with Lime to expand transportation mobility options, and we continue to emphasize that users should exercise safe riding habits.”
Safe riding habits, Kimura said, include: wearing a helmet for all rides, riding on the street and not the sidewalk, being aware of pedestrians and other vehicles and never operating an e-scooter or e-bike while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
People must be 18 years or older to ride the scooters and e-bikes. Only one person is allowed per scooter and bike. The rides should only be used on the roadway and should go with the direction of traffic.