Lime and other brand scooters on a sidewalk in Austin, TX earlier this month. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

The dockless scooter era in Idaho has begun.

Lime deployed its scooters in Meridian today, an official with the city confirms. The city has OK’ed rolling out traditional bikes and pedal assist bikes as well.

According to the Lime map, about 50 scooters were placed in the Downtown Meridian area, with another 50+ near the Village at Meridian and several more in other areas primarily along the Eagle Rd. corridor.

Lime scooter map screenshot

The Lime system works with a smartphone app. Users can locate an available scooter (or in the future, bike) on a map, get on and ride. They must verify they are over 18 by scanning in a driver’s license and agree to wear a helmet and follow traffic laws.

City of Meridian spokesperson Kaycee Emery said the city clerk’s office has already fielded a few calls from citizens today about the deployment. She said officials are guiding callers to Lime support with questions.

The scooters cost $1 to get going, then 15 cents per minute to ride. They top out at 14.8 MPH.

“I’ve used them all,” Meridian city councilor Luke Cavener said. “The assist bikes could be a big game changer for citizens in Meridian who work in Boise. “

The assist bikes are like regular bikes, but provide an extra boost of power while you pedal – helping riders go as fast as 14.8 MPH as well.

Line advertised for contractors to earn up to $150 per night going around and charging the scooters up each day. The so-called Lime Juicers would go around collecting the scooters, charging them at home and redeploying them.

Cavener said Lime presented to the transportation commission on the spring and appeared before city council this summer. Lime and the company are working on a memorandum of understanding that is still forthcoming.

City of Boise was also approached by Lime and subsequently passed an ordinance placing a number of guidelines and restrictions on bike and scooter services, including limiting them to 750 total across all vendors, requiring a fee per bike or scooter – plus a licensing fee and deposit to assist with moving the vehicles if they are left in areas they shouldn’t be.

The scooters have been exploding in popularity across many American cities, but some city officials and citizens decry the clutter they bring to sidewalks and traffic obstacles they can present. Lime and competitor Bird have been working to find solutions to lessen some of the negative impacts.

At a BYP event earlier this month, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said he had heard from other cities about problems caused by the dockless scooters and wanted to be proactive in addressing them before they came to the City of Trees.

Lime has not yet rolled out in Boise, but city spokesperson Mike Journee expect that to happen in mid-October.

Boise Green Bike, the docked bike system operated by Valley Regional Transit and subsidized in part by taxpayer dollars is concerned about the new dockless vehicles – which are not tethered to individual stations, are cheaper to use and could be more prevalent in number.

“This is certainly going to present significant challenges to us if they’re allowed to operate in this market,” Boise Green Bikes executive director Dave Fotsch told Boise Weekly.  “I think it’s still an unproven model. How long can they keep bleeding money? They’re not making any money. Trust me on this, I know: I run a bike-share system.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. Who are the idiots on the Meridian City Council that thought this was a good idea!? So glad to see theses things littering the sidewalks. As a Meridian small business owner, I love how the city is so anal about the visual landscape by not allowing businesses to put out temporary signage without jumping through a bunch of beauracratic red tape and quarterly fees but it’s perfectly fine to have scooters laying around all over town. Visit Seattle for 5 min. They have these rental bikes littering every square mile of the city and surrounding suburbs. I can’t wait till the lawsuits start flying as people hit these things left in the middle of the road at night. Totally stupid!

  2. Wish I new what business you own so I can make sure and not go there. I’ve ridden these in California and had a great time. In fact it draws a lot more local business. My wife and I actually enjoyed riding them around a small town and checking out small shops up and down the roads. It was fun cruising around the town stopping wherever we needed to check something out we found interesting.

  3. Scooter companies (aka uber, lime, bird) have hired lobbyists who have systematically purchased the requisite legislation to permit the unsafe operation of these “toys” on our nation’s sidewalks. Ultimately the injured pedestrian’s last and only line of defense against this criminal negligence will be the trial lawyer.

  4. All of Meridian now looks like the neighbor who doesn’t have the decency to tell their kids to pick up their toys from the street, sidewalks, and yard…. Give the scooters dedicated parking areas and clean up the neon trash!

  5. They also put them in Boise even though they aren’t supposed to be in Boise. I don’t really care, but they should probably re study the city boundaries haha. They have them on 5 mile which is 1.5+ miles from meridian at minimum depending on where you are

  6. These scooters are fantastic! So happy Meridian is onboard. The only people complaining about these scooters are grumpy old people that complain about everything.

    Perhaps Mr Ferguson could share the name of his business so I can be sure to never patronize it.

Comments are closed.