Lime bikes: City of Reno seeks 1-year extension of pilot agreement
January 10, 2019
RENO, Nev. — It appears dockless Lime bikes will continue to have a presence in the city of Reno for at least another year.
At its meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 9, Reno City Council directed staff to prepare a one-year extension agreement to the city’s pilot project with Lime — the company previously known as LimeBike that’s behind launching thousands of bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters in cities across the country.
The existing deal expires Jan. 31. Staff’s recommended updates for possible approval are expected to be heard by city council at its Jan. 23 meeting.
According to a statement from the city, the 2019 agreement would include rolling out electric-assist bicycles, in addition to the hundreds of Lime bikes already deployed Reno.
It would not, however, include launching the company’s e-scooters within the city, as “legal framework at the state level” still needs to be defined.
According to previous reports, Lime launched a small fleet of e-scooters in Reno last September, catching the city by surprise in the process and resulting in a cease and desist from Reno and removal of the scooters from all communities.
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According to the city, the recommended update would extend the city’s agreement with Lime to Jan. 31, 2020, thus allowing the city to:
• Collaborate with stakeholders and the Nevada Legislature to establish a safe regulatory framework for electric scooters. Currently, Nevada law classifies electric scooters as "mopeds." However, per the city, electric scooters do not meet the specifications of mopeds.
• Develop a law for “the safe operation of electric scooters in the city that protects riders and pedestrians.”
• Pilot dockless electric bicycles and electric scooters under the control of the franchise agreement.
Aside from the scooter issue, public perception of the lime-green bikes themselves has been mixed — for example, at a Reno City Council meeting last September, Lime officials revealed that the bikes are destroyed at a rate of nine per week in the city, an issue that aligns with some residents’ concerns the bikes themselves are unsightly.
However, many businesses in the region, as well as residents, have expressed support for the Earth-friendly mode of transportation.
“We are constantly asked to expand our services in droves by the folks living in and around the Reno area,” Lime spokesperson Brooke Brumfield told the NNBV last October.