‘Hop on just for fun’: Lime electric scooters launched in Calgary
There’s a new way to skedaddle around Calgary now that Lime electric scooters launched on Saturday — eight months after the San Francisco-based transportation company launched electric bikes in the city.
“We broke records [on Saturday], and out of all our cities around the globe, Calgary was No. 1 as far as the number of trips per vehicle per day in the whole world,” said Nate Currey, senior operations manager of Lime Western Canada, at a demonstration on Monday.
Calgary’s initial fleet had 300 scooters and will build up to 1,000 by the weekend, the company said.
How it works
Riders have to download the app and scan the code to unlock the scooter. It costs $1 to unlock and is $0.30 per minute.
“You just kick up the kickstand and you’re off,” Currey said.
After the ride is done, park it and scan it again.
“The scooters will typically last, on one charge, about 60 kilometres, so they’ll go quite a ways,” Currey said.
Scooters vs. bikes
Currey said excitement has been brewing about the scooters. Only time will tell when bikes or scooters are more popular in Calgary, he said.
“We have higher ridership of our scooters than we do bikes, but bikes definitely serve a purpose,” Currey said. “Bikes can get you up a hill much better than these do. These do not do very well up a hill. So, you know, there’s room for both vehicles in the city.”
The company said it uses GPS data to put scooters where people need them.
“On the weekends, it’s different. On the weekends, it’s more along the leisure areas,” Currey said. “On a Monday, like today, we put more of them downtown by the train stations where people can actually use them to get to work or home.
“What we’ve noticed is that puts us basically right in between public transit and Uber, Lyft [and] taxi. So we fill that sweet spot right there that’s about a mile, two miles worth of a trip — it makes it really easy, and fun frankly. It’s one of the few modes of transportation that people hop on just for fun.”
Andrew Sedor, business development co-ordinator with Transportation Strategy at the City of Calgary, said he was excited about the launch.
“It provides more mobility options for Calgarians,” he said. “What we’ve heard from the operators [is] it’s been the most successful weekend that they’ve ever had. So Calgarians have a large uptake of them already.
“Thus far, we have had over 100,000 trips on the bicycles, so people are using them. We haven’t had too many complaints and it’s been fairly positive.”
Lime reminded people to wear helmets and not to drink and scoot. The company also said that scooters are designed for one person at a time and are only allowed on sidewalks, protected bike lanes or approved pathways.
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