Students and faculty returning to the University of Nevada, Reno, for the fall semester might notice something different and greener than when they left for summer break—LimeBikes. The green bikes have been placed on campus and around Reno as part of an internationally-growing bikeshare program.
LimeBike’s mission is to bring bikes and scooters to cities across the world not only to help people get around, but also reduce harmful emissions from automobiles. The dockless, bikeshare program started in San Mateo, California, and has expanded to nearly 80 cities in the U.S.—including Reno and South Lake Tahoe—and six cities in Europe.
A thousand LimeBikes were introduced to the Reno-Tahoe area in May. Since then, bikes have been found in precarious places—such as atop the Virginia Street Bridge—but were also used by 21,000 people and rode 35,000 miles in the first month.
“This community has taken to Lime like no other, logging more miles in its first month than significantly larger cities,” said a LimeBike blog post.
The blog post also stated LimeBike intends to introduce its electric scooters and bikes to the Reno area. The scooters have already been introduced in South Lake Tahoe. However, the scooters have caused some havoc in the cities they were first introduced, including San Francisco.
The city temporarily banned the scooters in May after they were placed in the city without permission, and ordered them off the streets until permits were issued to the company. Residents complain the scooters are left abandoned in the middle of the sidewalks, blocking the paths for pedestrians.
Others called for the scooters to be reinstated after the ban, saying it was the easiest and most energy-efficient way to get around a city that has limited public transportation.
Similar complaints about bikes have popped up in Reno since its introduction to the city. However, in comparison to San Francisco, residents have felt LimeBike has been responsive to the complaints and cooperative with the city.
“We believe our region is a good example of the right way to do a bike-share program,” Sparks spokesperson Julie Duewel said to the Reno Gazette-Journal. “We learned from other cities that allowed multiple bike share companies into their region.”
How to use LimeBike
Using LimeBike is as simple as a few swipes on a smartphone. First, users must download the LimeBike app, which will show the locations of nearby bikes.
Once a bike is located, users either scan the QR code or input the number on the back of the bike to unlock the bike using the red pull-tab. The app will charge $1 for the unlocking, then it will charge an additional $1 for every 30 minutes spent on the bike. Once done with the bike, slide the red tab in again to lock it.
The bikes do not need to be returned to a specific location to be used.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.